Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fat is an Organ

It may be beneficial to consider fat deposits to be an organ of the human body. Fat is the long range fuel storage tank but recent research reveals that the fat system may do even more than just store energy. This makes a lot of sense and one should see fat as a very flexible and useful organ. The state of the fat organ can also be an indicator of overall body health. One should consider an enlarged fat organ with much the same sort of alarm as one would an enlarged liver or heart.

Massive fat build ups indicate that something is wrong with the body. Generally it is the result of an energy imbalance and in rare cases a sign that hormones are not functioning as they should. It should be kept in mind that fat should build up if energy consumption exceeds energy use. The body should have a store of about 60 to 90 days energy and this store should fluctuate. Statistics show that mortality rates for individuals at the higher end of the normal weight BMI scale are better than those at the lower end.

The problem today is that many people are unwilling or incapable of controlling their fat organ. This is not an easy thing to do in a world awash with high-energy food and incorrect official nutritional guidelines. The emphasis has been on controlling saturated fat intake while encouraging carbohydrate intake. Breads are promoted as the healthy base of the food pyramid and people are encouraged to have up to seven servings a day when one small serving a day is more than sufficient. The emphasis is on constant nutrition with six or so meals a day and high intakes of fruit and vegetables. It is rare for most people to end a day with an energy deficit when this condition should be experienced two or more days a week.

Fruit and especially fruit juices are supplying enormous amounts of energy to people everywhere. It has been discovered that fructose, the sugar that is abundant in fruit, is the easiest sugar to convert into fat. This may be because fruit used to be highly seasonal and our ancestors gorged on fruit when it was available storing the surplus for leaner times. Fructose from corn syrup is now increasingly being used for soft drinks and processed foods.

The consumption of high amounts of fructose all day and everyday leads to a steady build up of fat – there is no doubt about it. Fructose is also a double-edged sword in that its consumption appears to not generate a satiation response, doing quite the opposite and increasing hunger.

The solution to controlling the excessive growth of the fat organ is to limit the intake of foods that are easily converted to fat and to regulary operate on an energy deficit. The solution to controlling the intake of fat producing foods is to control appetite.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Growing Meat

I was talking to a colleague the other day about high animal fat diets and that it was not mainstream thinking but if it did become proven that it is the best diet for humans then the world may not be able to support such a large population. This would be due to the inefficient use of land when it comes to growing meat. I had taken, hook, line and sinker the notion that vegetable growing is the only environmentally safe use of land for food growing. On the face of it, it makes sense that it would be inefficient to grow plants and then feed them to animals and then eat the meat. Why not just chop out the middleman? But then I began to think about it a little more deeply.

Firstly the argument is wrong because most land is actually not suitable for growing crops that humans can eat. Sure it would be silly to grow sheep on highly arable market garden type land but not many people would do that. Instead animals like sheep are often grown on high country land that is very poor. This would actually represent the most efficient use of land.

Secondly animals could be considered as vital components of the food producing process. Humans can’t eat grass but they will thrive on grass fed animals. Animals like cattle use their special digestive systems to convert inedible grasses into lovely food like steak, milk, butter and cream. We can actually live off a diet of fresh animal products without ill effect yet we will soon suffer diseases if we attempt to live on maize or rice alone. Animals are marvellous engines used for the production of nutritious and tasty food.

When I look at New Zealand where I live there are vast areas of unutilised land. We could feed most of the world with animal product if we utilized it all. Yet we are closing meat plants due to poor demand while the world grows fatter and less healthy.

Fruit and veg diet 'danger for toddlers'

Here is a report from the Guardian about poor nutrition at pre-schools in Britain

'We expected the study to show nurseries were serving children food that was too high in calories, fat, saturated fat and salt, and low in vegetables and fruit. Instead, we found that the majority of nurseries had gone to the other extreme and appeared to be providing food that was too low in calories, fat and saturated fat and too high in fruit and vegetables.' This situation was putting children at the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, she said.

Note that they mention that they expected the food to be high in fat yet not high in carbohydrates. I would expect the food to be high in flour and sugar in the form of bread, cookies, cakes, fruit juices and sweets. Imagine if they were feeding the children whole milk, butter, cheese, eggs and meat – now that would be high fat but surely it would be much better than what I was expecting. Instead the children are expected to thrive on slices of apple and carrot sticks. We are setting up our children for long term health risks exposing them to these crazy healthy diet ideas. It is especially dangerous now that in so many families the parents both work or there is only one parent at home and the children spend the working week in day care.
I’m going to try and feed my children a lot more milk, cream and butter from now on. I grew up on it and even ate fish and chips cooked in animal fat as an afternoon snack on the way home from school.

Here is an interesting link to an article extolling butter that also has a link to a very interesting Scandanavian study that had this result:

Eating milk products -- specifically fatty milk products -- was associated with lower BMI and waist circumference (meaning less of the dangerous visceral fat), lower triglycerides, and higher levels of HDL (known off-hand as “the good cholesterol”

Many thanks to the Food is Love Blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pre-Agricultural Diet

A lot of people have the idea that early man led a miserable existence without the benefit of modern nutrition. That he generally died very young at around thirty or so. I wonder if this was so. I wonder if somehow people have mixed up agricultural societies with hunter gatherers or have based their conclusions on people living in extreme situations.

When Europeans first arrived in the New World they encountered many people at various levels of “civilization”. From the reading I have done the Indians that lived in what is now known as the United States and Canada seemed to be fine physical specimens before suffering from introduced diseases and influences. Further south I always get the impression that the more civilized types like the Inca and Aztec were a bit feeble – they were after all over run by a mere handful of Spaniards and they numbered in the millions. Plains Indians on the other hand gave the US cavalry a real run for their money almost reversing the situation in some aspects. I wonder if the civilized diet led to weakness of a moral as well as physical character. I have also read that the bones of people living in early civilizations show more signs of arthritis than their wilder counterparts and that this was a result of eating too many grains. The eating of high carb foods like wheat, rice and corn for breakfast, lunch and dinner has always led to health problems associated with vitamin deficiency and weakness. Wild man, on the other hand, ate a diet rich in animal products and augmented it with vegetables and fruits that were intensely nutritious compared to the engineered stuff we eat today. Even tribes that ate a diet almost entirely of meat were astoundingly healthy without any heart disease or cancer. Yet there are many cases of disease resulting from diets that relied heavily on rice, potatoes or corn.

Humans have spent the vast majority of their history in a state of pre-agriculture. It is logical to conclude that the human body has adapted to a pre-agricultural diet as five to ten thousand years is not enough time for evolution to have a significant effect.

Thinking about what pre-agricultural man ate could give us some clues as to the reason behind the obesity epidemic we are facing today. He probably had access to animal protein and fat all year round. Food high in carbohydrate was reasonably rare and highly seasonal. Fruits, tubers, honey and grains would be available in much smaller quantities and with far less sugar than we see today. Carbohydrates supply the body with energy but the body doesn’t need or cannot use the energy gained from gorging on high carb foods immediately so it stores the excess as fat. This may aid human survival as fat will be deposited in the summer for the lean times encountered in the winter. The human body encountered periods of feast and famine regularly and adapted to cope with this reality by readily storing excess carbohydrate as fat. Meat eaters don’t seem to do this for reason s that are not entirely clear. It may be because meat is available regardless of season or that prey’s nutritional value actually gets better as winter approaches due to fat deposits. It may also be because fat and protein need to be first converted into glucose before it can be deposited as fat and this takes a fair bit of energy.

So today we have a situation of continuous feast and this is not good for weight control or health because we are not adapted to it. We either need to induce periods of famine to reduce our stored fat deposits by dieting or eat a diet high in protein and animal fat to maintain a steady body weight. It seems pretty obvious to me.
PS. Not much body fat on that Indian depicted above - looks a bit like me actually. I bet he didn't eat a lot of carbs!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wear and Tear and a New Direction

The other day I went out for my morning run and noticed that my knee was slightly sore. I put this down to a job I did the day before running fibre cables in a computer room that involved a lot of kneeling and getting up and down. I was slightly concerned because with all my training I shouldn’t suffer any ill effect from normal activities. Nevertheless I pressed on doing a magnificent hill sprint. The next day my knee was even worse. It hurt even while lying in bed that night.

My old knee injury had returned. As usual I was taking things too far and pushing the limit. In the past I had never run straight up large hills like I was now doing. Oh well, time to turn defeat into victory. Intense running is out for a while and maybe forever which is a shame as it is something I love but I’m not going to do it if it jeopardizes the primary objective which is to be mobile and healthy at 100. Knee joints will get damaged with over use – it happens time and again to runners and athletes.

Now is the time to preserve and protect the joints. So I am going to stop running and cycling for a month and do occasional walks instead. I’m also going to do 15 minute workouts twice a day that involve push-ups, chin-ups, Ab-King-Pro and some weights. I will concentrate on good form and on developing the tone of my middle and upper body- my legs are looking pretty good anyway so I really don’t need all the running except for cardio-vascular health. I hope to return to a bit of cycling and easy running after a month or so.

I have already noticed a couple of good things with the change. Two fifteen minute sessions are easy to do and if done briskly will up the heart rate. You don’t necessarily have to change into special clothes to do it. You don’t get drenched in sweat either. It has less impact on your life yet still fulfils the magic 200 minutes of exercise per week objective. This may turn out to be a good thing and now that it is winter I want to concentrate on the upper body anyway.

I think my condition is this:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lab Rat Award to Rest Home Man

In a posting below I criticize the eating of breakfast rather severely. I haven't changed my mind radically but I'm thinking now that it is not so much breakfast that is the culprit but the type of breakfast. A breakfast of bacon and eggs or a full cream cup of cocoa without the sugar would be just fine as a breakfast. It seems silly to force down such a breakfast if you are not particularly hungry and so I still recommend leaving it as late as possible in order to fast longer and to enjoy it all the more when you do feel like it.The thing is most breakfasts are massive carbohydrate loads. Breakfasts such as all the cereals, pancakes with syrup (the horror!) and toast with jam are just suicide breakfasts for those wishing to lose weight or as in my case want to see well defined abdominals.

Now I'll go out on a limb and state that carbs aren't so bad but only so long as you don't exceed your daily total calorie intake - the sting in the tail of this claim though is that it is nigh on impossible to achieve due to the appetite stimulating properties of all carbs. Carbs make you hungry so if you want to endure the misery of feeling achingly hungry all day go ahead and have some toast.

Yesterday I had a fine breakfast of three eggs and three slices of bacon fried in butter with a tomato and felt full well past lunchtime. In the afternoon I made a big mistake and ate a banana and from then on I was fighting the hunger demon. I should have had a piece of cheese or even a hot cream drink.Now if you want to feel full have six fried eggs for breakfast. Don't worry about the cholesterol or the fat, they found an old man in a rest home recently who ate only eggs (25 a day) for 15 years and his blood tested just fine.

Thanks rest home man for doing this experiment for us!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Update on the High Animal Fat Diet

The last few months have seen me practising a largely calorie restricted diet that I have to say has been characterized by periods of intense hunger. I would look at fat people and think, "Have you ever endured extreme hunger or nausea from intense exercise? - I think not" and feel pretty smug about my will power.

Well now I am into day three of enjoying the HAF (High Animal Fat) diet I can honestly report that I haven't felt hungry. Indeed, quite the opposite. My craving for sweet things has gone and I feel satiated all the time. This is the answer for people who cannot face being hungry. You just have to get over all that indoctrination about animal fat clogging your arteries. This is just an anecdote but I was watching the news on TV about New Zealand's oldest immigrant who is 102 and he was asked what he ate and he said, " Well, I eat a lot of animal fat". I notice that the article linked above doesn't mention anything about animal fat but I heard him say it. The media never like to report anything that would suggest that animal fat could be good for you. The link does say he eats in moderation but what does that really mean? Could it be a code for eating animal fat? Everything in moderation, yes everything. I bet he doesn't eat as much carb as most people.

For some really interesting reading on low carb/high fat diets go to these two web sites: -this is where I got the cup of cream idea - thanks Peter!

You can spend hours trolling through the archives getting amazing information that could save your life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poisonous Food

Where are most poisons found? The answer is plants. When you think about all the food that you can eat the ones that have the most potential to poison you quickly or slowly are derived from plant sources. There must be a good reason why children need to be forced to eat vegetables. Maybe they are closer to their instincts, being so young, that they naturally and for good reason are repelled by vegetables – especially green leafy ones. Apparently it has never really been conclusively proven that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is good for you. Most vegetable matter is not designed to be a food and indeed some plants actively discourage being food items by being poisonous. Some animals manage to adapt to poisons, probably at huge initial cost, finding a niche on a poisonous plant. Monarch caterpillars come to mind here where they live on the poisonous Milkweed and in doing so become poisonous themselves.

Common food like potatoes, beans, plums, rhubarb and tomatoes have serious poisons in them. Most seeds are poisonous – after all there is no benefit to a plant to have its seeds eaten and absorbed into animals. Seeds that pass right through the gut are probably a good idea for geographical distribution so most plants would have an interest in protecting their seeds. Some develop the use of poisons to achieve this. Some develop hard outer shells.

The only real foods are milk, egg yokes and animal fat. These are actually designed to be foods for animals. Cultures have been known to exist that ate an almost 100% animal product diet and thrived. Some African tribe ate mostly fresh blood and milk and Eskimos ate mostly blubber without ill-effect and stayed lean. Nature has spent millions of years developing these foods yet in recent times they have been demonised. Instead of eating nutritious meat, eggs and dairy products people are eating masses of grains and inedible leafy vegetables thinking that it is healthy.

Consider whole grain breads – better for you because more of it passes straight through you. Tells you something about how good it is for you don’t you think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lab Rat II

OK I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and do some more human experimentation. From yesterday I have started a high animal fat diet. This has to be kept secret so don’t tell anyone. Why does it have to be a secret? Well many people would consider it to be self-harm like taking drugs or cutting yourself. Aliens who wish to depopulate the planet have planted the “animal fat will kill you” meme into the human consciousness. Now everyone is gorging on healthy whole grain bread until they explode. – just kidding about the aliens.

Yesterday for morning tea I drank a cup of hot chocolate without sugar but made from two thirds heavy cream and one-third full cream milk. I found it to be delicious and certainly sweet enough – the chocolate powder has some carbs. By lunchtime I wasn’t hungry at all so just had a multi-vitamin and a small orange. For afternoon tea I had another creamy hot chocolate. I arrived home at around six not feeling particularly hungry at all. Later I had two eggs fried in butter and two rashes of bacon with a couple of tablespoons of baked beans. I finished the day with a cup of tea and two small pieces of 70% dark chocolate.

This must have been about an 80% animal product diet with most of it being fat with some protein and some carbs in the chocolate and orange. The interesting thing about this diet was that I felt so full yet I only ate about 1600 calories in total. My insides felt good and I had more than enough energy. I’m going to keep this sort of diet up for a few weeks and see what happens to my weight. Weight now = 70.5 KG.

High Fat Diets

I love watching documentaries on compulsive eaters. The usually show extremely obese people who have got so fat that they can no longer get up from their beds. Last night I watched one that focused on three people in this condition. It is obviously a medical condition that doesn’t afflict everyone and mega obesity is relatively rare however they all ate prodigious quantities of fast food. By their beds were piles of hamburgers and cans of soft drink. While the commentary described them as having high fat diets all I ever saw them eating was bread buns, fries and sugary things. The burgers had meat in them but a beef pattie isn’t particularly high in fat I would have thought and fries are a bit oily but mostly starch.

The meme that eating fat, especially animal fat, makes you fat is so ingrained into human thinking now that it is impossible to dislodge. I like to eat fruity yoghurts but I noticed that the one I enjoy has about six teaspoons of sugar in it and is made from skim milk. I looked around for a full cream or at least not lite yoghurt but so far haven’t found one. There are unsweetened ones but they are still lite. The super market shelves are full of low-fat products and high carb products yet people are getting fatter and fatter and still blaming animal fat.

Now if the super obese people had thrown away their hamburger buns and fries and just eaten the meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish) as well as avoiding the soda drinks and just drank coffee made with full cream and partaken of a little red wine I bet you that they would not have gotten into the state they found themselves in. Yet this would have been a high animal fat diet. So why do the ‘experts’ insist that high fat diets made them this way? Beats me.

PS. Another interesting thing is that most of them blamed a lack of exercise as contributing to their obesity - they got so fat that they could not exercise. Everyone needs to understand that exercise will not make you thin. It may make you fit but it is controlled eating that makes you thin. You can't out run a Big Mac!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Human Experimentation - I am a Lab Rat

Yesterday I did my first attempt at a 24 hour fast. The previous day I ate a lot more bread than is normal for me and I was feeling a little bloated so decided that now was the time to try a 24 hour fast. The over-eating of bread seemed to inflate my body. Stepping on the scales in the evening I noticed that I was 72KG which is 1.5KG heavier than normal for me yet surely I hadn’t eaten that much bread. It seems that bread swells my body somehow and this is probably not a good thing. It reinforces my suspicion that bread is toxic to humans.

It’s interesting the reactions you get from people when you tell them that you are not eating for 24 hours. They look at you as if you are mad, as if you are embarking on an incredibly foolish and dangerous exercise, that you have an eating disorder or are even suicidal.

I think that ancient man often went long periods of time without eating and that the body is designed to do it. It would be crazy if the body started deteriorating and ceasing to function merely after a few hours of not eating. It would be logical for the body to get sharper and better at hunting if it is running on empty in my opinion. Most people have enough fat stored in their bodies to supply food for about ninety days….yes ninety days!

The trial was interesting. I had moments of extreme hunger and some feelings of vagueness throughout the day. The fogginess of thinking may be a result of blood sugar levels depleting however I did notice that I got sharper in the late afternoon and by dinnertime I wasn’t even feeling that hungry. Dinner at around 8pm was great and I washed it down with a single glass of fine red wine which was delicious. I made sure I ate almost no sugar, just some vegetables drenched in butter and a nice fatty rump steak fried in butter. My desert was a little super dark chocolate (70% Cocoa). Overall I’d say I ate fewer than the recommended daily calories and a very high percentage of animal fat. I felt full and stayed feeling full until bed time. Just before bed time I did have a sudden stomach gripe and passed a rather loose stool much to my wife’s amusement. She caught me visually examining the contents of the toilet pan and declared that she was right about fasting being bad for you…..annoying. Anyway I am revealing this information in the interests of objectivity. It makes sense that a radical change in a diet habit will have the body rebelling a little. Anyway I felt good afterward and the next day I awoke to normal bodily functions and not feeling hungry at all.

The plan is to try a 24 hour fast every Monday. Why so much animal fat? Soon all will be revealed.

Sugar and Bread

Lately I have read some startling theories that seem, to me anyway, to make a lot of sense. I’m a believer in evolution and think that humans have evolved over the last million years or so from ape like creatures. Humans and apes share common ancestors. This has implications when considering the optimal diet for a human. Today’s food has been radically altered over the last few thousand years. Agriculture which is a very recent innovation of human culture has transformed the diets of most humans. Agriculture has produced far greater quantities of food than could be reasonably gathered from wild sources. This food has a far greater energy value although not necessarily nutrient value over wild sources. The fruit we eat today is packed with sugars in a quantity unheard of in Paleolithic times. Grains have been developed that provide foods that were simply unknown in Paleolithic times.

In the last ten thousand years and really over the last two or three thousand years for the majority of the world’s human population agriculture has provided an abundance of high energy food that is not natural for a creature that spent the last million years or so hunting and gathering. Foods high in sugars or carbohydrates would have been rarely eaten by primitive man – now those foods surround him at every turn.

Even food like meat has been radically altered with selective breeding and unnatural feeding of the meat animals.

Two high energy foods are now major staples of our diet. Processed sugars from cane, beets and corn are consumed at unhealthy rates and wheat, which is very much a newcomer to the human diet from an evolutionary perspective, is the principle ingredient of bread. Almost everyone eats sugar and bread in large quantities every day. This is considered to be so normal that few people ever think about it. Indeed anyone that refused to eat wheat and sugar would be considered a bit of a kook.

Yet these ‘foods’ are both incredibly harmful if not downright toxic to humans. A significant proportion of the population react quite badly to eating bread. Sugar is rarely considered to be toxic yet anything is toxic, even pure water, if taken in large enough quantities. Most people take in dangerous levels of sugar every single day.

The human body has not adapted yet to the eating of mega quantities of carbohydrates in the form of sugars and starches like bread. Humans have been nourished on meat, fish, eggs, insects, tubers, small fruits, nuts and berries and leafy vegetables for a million years. All those that didn’t thrive on this diet have been eliminated from the gene pool by natural selection. Nature is presently in the process of weeding out those that cannot thrive on sugar and starch by killing them off with obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. Maybe in the future we will have a new form of human that thrives on these foods however it’s going to take a lot of gene modification to achieve this.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nietzsche Quote for Today - and some updates.

Quote for today:

Never yield to remorse, but at once tell yourself: remorse would simply mean adding to the first act of stupidity a second.

from Nietzsche's The Wanderer and his Shadow,s. 323, R.J. Hollingdale transl.


IF – My intermittent fasting is ongoing although I’m thinking of taking it to the next level. At the moment I try to put off breakfast for as long as possible each day so that my body has no food for at least 14 hours and preferably 16 hours. When I break the fast I eat healthy low carb food unless I’m feeling particularly starved. The next level would be one day a week where no food is consumed for 24 hours. This should be reasonably easy to achieve if dinner is eaten early one evening and the next dinner eaten a little later with no food in between except for a few cups of green tea. This could be done once a week and would probably have good results if the fasting day had a good cardio workout in it as well.

Confessions – I have a terrible weakness for chocolate. When the evening arrives I just can’t resist eating chocolate – especially after dinner. Chocolate is half fat and half sugar. As I eat hardly any bread or other high-carb food I think my body craves sugar of some sort. The simple solution is to refuse to buy the stuff because if I have it in the house I eat it. The same goes for wine. Many posts down I espouse the benefits of wine drinking but I drink too much. I know I drink too much because I will start to wake up in the middle of the night drenched with sweat after several days in a row of drinking half a bottle of red wine a day. This may be because 24 hours is not enough time for the liver to rid itself of the alcohol and it starts to build up. Time to tone it down a bit. As of writing this I have not had any alcohol for six days and I’m feeling good.


The Benzoyl Peroxide treatment is still highly successful with my complexion looking better than ever. I wish someone had told me years ago about this solution.

I haven’t worn the Skins compression clothing much at all as it is quite cold and it is now winter. I’ll try it again in the summer as when I exercise I just hate to feel cold. The Adidas leggings are great though and I highly recommend them for running in the cold even though they make you look like Mickey Mouse