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September 22, 2008

Health, Food, Fitness Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Tennis champ Martina Navratilova -- turning 50 -- uses Gyrotonics to help her stay flexible and balanced. I'm a huge Gyro fan myself.

* Richard Nikoley throws some buffalo on the grill.

* Another interview with the startling economist / fitness-guy Arthur De Vany.

* More reasons to marvel at the low-fat insanity of the last three decades: Dr. John Briffa takes a look at a recent study and concludes: "The lower-fat regime utilised in the Women’s Health Initiative study did not protect women against cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes."

* Hyperlipid's Peter -- who knows more about fats than you do or I do -- eats six egg yolks a day and gets 80 percent of his calories from animal fats. He's slim, his blood markers are good, and at age 52 he has never felt better. Here's a typical day's eating for Peter.

* Read about Jan Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet -- the hardest-core high-fat diet around -- here, here, and here.

* So is there any point to taking statins at all?



UPDATE: The Nourished Kitchen prepares a scrumptious-looking meal out of foods that the revenooers have made illegal. Great passage:

It’s important to note that many people may view these laws as a way to ensure that the public limit exposure to potential pathogens. Yet, the laws favor industrial agriculture and interfere with both the small farmers’ ability to making farming economically viable and the consumers’ ability to make an informed choice.

Indeed, though I consistently choose to include these foods that skirt the law and bend health codes, they’ve never made me sick; rather, my health has improved with the inclusion of pasture-fed chicken, grass-fed meats and raw milk. Consider that spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, beef and a slew of other legal, industrial foods have made people across the US sick due to contamination with pathogens like e. coli and salmonella.

posted by Michael at September 22, 2008


there has to be truth to what your saying about lower fat diets or regimes. Many studies that seems to emerge is later contradicted with another one. First something is bad, then good or visa versa. Our parents or grandparents (depending on your age) certainly didn't have a low fat regime. I believe many of the problems today are related to the chemicals and preservatives.

Posted by: Sports Fitness Nutrition on September 22, 2008 7:33 AM

For anyone who is interested in eating Buffalo (i.e. American Bison) for health reasons might also consider Grass Fed Beef since their nutritional profiles are almost identical. Both taste great.

But remember, with meats like Bison (which is always grass fed) and Grass Fed Beef, the cooking is different than their grain fed cousins. Since they have less fat they are much more easily over cooked and prone to drying out.

"The lower-fat regime utilised in the Women’s Health Initiative study did not protect women against cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes."

The Weston A Price foundation has been saying that for a long time now. They truly are a great organization.

MB, I get about 70% of my calories from animal fat (i.e. meat, cheese and eggs) and I can honestly say that I never get sick. Basically, it means that I get lots of natural Fat-Soluble vitamins.

Good job, as always.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on September 22, 2008 9:10 AM

Cream. For lunch. Cream. Just cream.

Wow. I remember reading about a low-fat low-protein low-cal modification of nouvelle cuisine by Michel Guérard, one of the pioneers of NC. It was back in the '70s and was called cuisine minceur, which gets across to non-French speaking Anglophones its hideously pinched, narrow, bloodless qualities quite well. It was genuinely horrible, little slices of veggie, no sauces, no creams, no nothing. Shudder.

Poor James Beard had to go on something like that diet, and was suffering terribly (it didn't help him, I guess; he died not too long after). The writer of the article interviewed Beard, and together they realized how much food missed when it lost its fatty content.

The article ended with the writer sitting down to a full traditional haute cuisine dinner. "Real creams, real butter", she wrote. "At last, I was alive again."

I can't help wondering if the whole low-fat thing will be seen as one of those periodic outbreaks of puritanical madness that sweep American culture. With Dean Ornish being its contempo Cotton Mather (apologies to CM, in many ways a great man).

Cream. For lunch. Just cream.


Posted by: PatrickH on September 22, 2008 11:03 AM

Have a look at the website of the notorious LSD chemist Owsley Stanley, who says he has stuck to an all-meat diet since the 50s. He notes that you need to get a lot of exercise if you're going to eat this way.

Posted by: robert61 on September 22, 2008 11:51 AM

When I was in high school, I served Julia Child a salami sandwich at a deli in Cambridge where I had a part-time job. She pronounced it "delicious" in that fabulous Julia Child voice.

At the time I didn't know that over a decade later, I would get together with a woman and have a child in Stockholm in 1990, and that for the next two years I, a freelancer, would have more time than my woman to care for our home, and that I would buy a second-hand copy of Det goda franska köket - the Swedish version of Mastering the Art of French Cooking - for 15 kr at a used book store, and that from it I would learn the Swedish words for foodstuffs and, more importantly, how to cook.

I don't know about the rest of you, but my debt to Julia is great.

Cream for lunch indeed.

Posted by: robert61 on September 22, 2008 12:43 PM

He notes that you need to get a lot of exercise if you're going to eat this way.

Tons of people have gone on an All-Meat diet with little to no exercise, including Vilhjalmur Stefansson. And they did just great.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on September 22, 2008 2:29 PM

Hyperlipid's Peter is willing to do without the pleasures of beer and bread and for that matter all wheat derived foods in the name of a theory. He may well be right but the diet he recommends will never be taken up by more than a marginal few simply because most humans don't want to deny themselves whole categories of food.

Further I'd say that the issue is much more how much you eat than what you eat. Overeating is the great shortener of life. The problem is food is so damn good I keep overeating. :^(

Posted by: ricpic on September 22, 2008 3:07 PM

I notice that of the 13 items in the "illegal food" dinner, 7 are "illegal" because they are derived from raw milk. 4 have meat, bones, or eggs of "unlicensed chickens". One used bones of farm-slaughtered cattle; one is home-made hard cider.

What this says to me is that raw milk is most of the issue; after that, it is slaughtering regulations.

IOW, over half the "illegality" here is one ingredient.

I'm not saying there's no issue here, only that this looks like deliberately running into an obstacle from as many directions as possible to magnify the case.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on September 23, 2008 1:32 AM

You haven't stir-fried till you've stir-fried with lard. And yet...

The food-theorists linked above are a worry, (and I'm not just talking about the goth-rock enthusiasms of that 52 year old hyperlipidist).

The attitude to cookery is like the attitude to sex among Roissy's crowd: mechanistic drudgery for compulsive point-provers.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on September 23, 2008 7:34 AM

I'm with Robert on the theorists. They all have alarmingly a priori attitudes to food. I, on the other hand, reject the a priori tout court!

But seriously folks, we're omnivores. Grandma said something like "don't be a glutton, eat square meals". You know. I distrust all food philosophies that are rationalistic. Life isn't that way, and neither is food.

Posted by: PatrickH on September 23, 2008 7:50 PM

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