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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-23, 03:20
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is online now
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Default Dr. Lustig book, "Metabolical"

Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine by Robert H. Lustig

Quote:
It looks like food, it tastes like food, maybe it tastes even better than food. But what if something had been done to poison it? Noóthis isnít an episode of Game of Thrones; itís whatís happening to most of us every day, every meal, every snack.


He's a great communicator.

Quote:
Metabolical weaves the interconnected strands of nutrition, health/disease, medicine, environment, and society into a completely new fabric by proving on a scientific basis a series of iconoclastic revelations, among them:

Medicine for chronic disease treats symptoms, not the disease itself

You can diagnose your own biochemical profile

Chronic diseases are not "druggable," but they are "foodable"

Processed food isnít just toxic, itís addictive

The war between vegan and keto is a false waróthe combatants are on the same side. Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Government are on the other side


My bold because dang that sounds promising. Not only for those of us still working on our chronic illnesses, but I see increased research interest and tons of people telling their successful low carb stories.

This is in Kindle Unlimited now. It can't hurt that he's a highly regarded medical professional on this very subject.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-23, 04:28
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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On my "to buy" list.

He wrote it for the professionals, to get their s h i t together and get on board with preventing food based diseases.

Im thinking about buying two copies. One for my primary!
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-23, 05:21
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Do eeeet! He's a fantastically engaging writer, even on a tough subject.

Only on the first chapter and I'm keeping the cats updated with my exclamations of a great truth wrapped in a lovely phrase
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-23, 07:10
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Quote:
We spend 97.5 percent of our healthcare budget on individual treatment, and only 2.5 percent on prevention.


Public health has actually been neglected since 1970. It shows.
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-23, 13:07
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BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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Here's what I wrote when the book first came out in hardcover:

Quote:
I was very disappointed in Metabolical. The gist of the book is, "Don't eat processed foods." He stresses that fiber is the most important element of diet. Heavy on plants. Eat enough fiber and you'll be fine. He doesn't bash protein (or red meat, which is refreshing, though he says to avoid deli meats because they're processed), but focuses on fiber and fibrous veggies. He says that applesauce made with with no sugar added is akin to apple juice because it has no fiber, and therefore not worth eating.

He says on keto you can miss important nutrients, so it's not great. He says being vegan you can also miss important nutrients, but you can always supplement. Why didn't he say you can supplement on keto? But then in another part of the book he says you shouldn't need to supplement if you eat real foods. He also says canola oil can be good for you. Talk about a processed food!

Here are some things I thought were interesting (for good or bad reasons) in the book.

He says that nutrition labels are not accurate because your microbiome actually metabolizes 25-30% of everything you eat, plus fiber isn't digested. He says this is especially true for nuts, "where the amount of calories absorbed is a full 30% less than those generated from a bomb calorimeter" and that some manufacturers are now changing the nutrition labels to reflect this. So how do I know if the label on the container of nuts I'm eating has been lowered or not?

"Every single drug company spends more on marketing than on research and development. Some, like Johnson & Johnson, spend double their R&D budget on marketing.... For every $1 spent on 'basic research,' Big Pharma spends $19 on promotions and advertising."

Also says that blood glucose does not always correlate with insulin release, and it's the insulin release you need to pay attention to ... but there's no way to do that on your own.

Equates drinking 2 beverages with artificial sweeteners equates to 1 beverage sweetened with sugar. He's opposed to using any artificial sweeteners at all. He makes no mention of stevia or other natural sweeteners like monkfruit. He says natural sugars contain both glucose and fructose, and fructose is bad, bad, bad. He says sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, and agave are all metabolically the same and all bad for you. So maybe monkfruit falls into this category as well, maybe even stevia.

He says if you follow a low-fat diet, you end up destroying all the big fluffy LCL particles, which leaves you with the small, dense particles that are actually dangerous. Early in the book he also talks about how doctors prescribe statins and a low-fat diet for high LDL. He says, "It isn't just the pill that's the problem. The recommendation of a low-fat diet is just as bad for you (see Chapter 12)." In Chapter 12 he cites studies like one that followed 9,000 patients over 5 years at state mental hospitals and nursing homes "where meals were controlled by removing saturated fat and substituting linoleic acid (from corn oil)." In the end, LDL went down, but heart attacks and deaths went up. However, he doesn't describe the diet as low-fat, just not using saturated fat. He doesn't really explain why he thinks a low-fat diet is dangerous.

Probiotics? Worthless. Says the theory is that you take probiotics and you assume they will proliferate in your gut. Not so. If they did, he argues, why would you have to keep taking them? Also, probiotics are totally worthless without first taking prebiotics.

He doesn't think much of protein, either. He states, "... your kidneys have a limited capacity to excrete the metabolic by-products of protein metabolism, and overexcretion can cause kidney damage." This has been debunked by most of the LC researchers and experts out there. Then he says that if you eat too much protein, it will be turned into liver fat or into excess glucose. Again, I've read numerous times that it's been determined that gluconeogenesis is demand-driven, not supply-driven, so just because there's excess protein around it won't be converted to sugar.

He lists health problems associated with beef consumption: iron, BCAAs, and choline (which contains a by-product that sticks to your arteries and causes vascular disease and leads to insulin resistance).

Also says that plants (carbs) are bad because of all the synthetic fertilizers sprayed on them.

So what are we supposed to eat? Real food, yes, but exactly what since he's just said there are issues with plants, fat, and protein.

Fiber. He says fiber is the absolute most important thing to focus on.

He says studies have shown no difference in outcome whether you're on a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet (again, debunked by numerous studies). The only thing that makes a difference is eating Real Food (capitalization is his). He says any diet will work, but you have to eat Real Food. Still, he says the "low-sugar, high-fiber" Mediterranean diet is the best.

Oh, and no bibliography. He says it's online. That's a cop-out. I don't want to read the book and have to be next to my computer to check references.

PS: I really liked the first half of the book, but kept waiting for his advice on what to eat. As I said, he had terrible things to say about protein, fat, AND carbs. I read the first half of the book but scanned the last half.

If I ate as much fiber as he recommends, I'd end up in the hospital with a bad case of diverticulitis.

Sorry this was so long.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-23, 17:20
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Thanks I missed it. Is it outdated? The Kindle could be from today but it could be older than I thought. They do tricks like that.

But I agree, food wise it seemed outdated. But if you lived on cereal and take out, it would be a step in the right direction.

I do like his outlining of the forces arrayed against health, offering only treatment.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-23, 20:04
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BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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I think it was published in 2021.
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-23, 23:24
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Good points BW. I haven't read the book, but i trust your eval.


As for Probiotics. I know from personal use, that probiotics work.

After a time on Atkins, my gut flora changed. Such that when delving into a loaf of bread caused great gi gurgling and distress. I quickly learned a probiotic resolved the problem. And any future mishaps with bread 🍞 also included a probiotic chaser. Gi disturbances completely avoided.

These days I do feed the bugs. Homemade sauerkraut. Contains both prebiotic and probiotic. And keep pills on hand.

Imho, we would keep inoculating our gut when eating fermented foods, not pasteurized of course, and when munching on plant material in the gardens and woods.

Initial feeding of breast milk to infants contains a probiotic to feed a microbe, a prebiotic.

Which links back to the birthing. Natural birthing exposes child to important microbes. As in its a good thing.

We have lost many strains in the US population for many reasons, including antibiotics. In the South American tribal groups isolated from modern humans, their gi microbes are a complex mix. Containing a bigger variety than US populations.

Like most if not all doctors, drL doesn't have it quite right on many aspects, but he is in the right direction on sugar.
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Mar-11-23, 02:54
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
Like most if not all doctors, drL doesn't have it quite right on many aspects, but he is in the right direction on sugar.


And his patients were young people with terrible eating habits. Not adults with health issues. Once I took his advice as "convincing parents who never heard of nutrition," I moved on to his descriptions of WHY doctors are so useless about understanding the same thing.

The advice about what to eat is the least interesting part of the book, I'm in agreement there.

But his insights into the medical-industrial complex are the eye opening parts. I think everyone should be aware of THAT.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Mar-11-23, 08:20
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Back at a real keyboard as my iPad decides it will just choose onscreen keyboards at random.

I did wade through the food section but what really astonishes is how it exposes the mindset of how medicine has devolved to people who are not aware of it.

We don't blink at stats like this, because we lived them.

Quote:
When I went to medical school in 1976, diabetes was rare; only 5 percent of people in the US over age sixty-five had it, and the prevalence in the general population was 2.5 percent. By 2014 there were 422 million diabetics, at 10.3 percent of the population.


He points out it used to be called adult onset diabetes, but now it's type II and in children.

How many people know that historical fact? No one born in the 80's or beyond. That's when the low fat thing really took off.

WE know what a disaster it was. But Metabolical has a bigger goal. It's about opening minds to make their own decisions once they know the distorted message that's being spread with lots of money.

To rescue the health care of the world, everyone needs to know some basics so we can at least have discussions that don't devolve into people screaming into the void because they are addicted to food that keeps them unhappy and sick and prone to mental and physical disorders.

That's the real emergency, he says, and here, I agree with him. And consider it an important book.
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, Mar-11-23, 14:19
Grav Grav is offline
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I bought and read Metabolical as soon as it came out in 2021 and can concur with much of what Bawdy wrote in her review. I too, was especially disappointed in the references not being included in the book. In my own experience it's just so much more convenient for them to be included in the book itself, that I was always going to include mine in my own.

My general sense of things with fibre (which is how we spell it over here) is that it can be beneficial, but on a more secondary basis. For example, there are studies out there which suggest fibre is good for us because when you add it to the diet in place of refined carbs, people's blood sugar doesn't spike so hard afterwards (https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31809-9). Of course, that finding could just as easily be because of the removal of the carbs as it was the addition of the fibre, but the authors of this example are known nutrition traditionalists, so naturally it must be the fibre, and this is why whole grains are good for us, etc.

However, one important take-home for me that was repeatedly stressed throughout the book in more general terms, was that it's not just what's in the food, it's what's also been done to the food. He made a very good point that the latter is not covered by nutrition information labelling, and I think that's something to be considered in future iterations of food labelling policy. Dr Caryn Zinn gave a presention on this subject at last year's Low Carb Gold Coast event, which could provide an interesting way forward on this.

Overall, while I found myself not necessarily fully agreeing with every individual point he had to make, I still got some value out of the book in the end.
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  #12   ^
Old Sat, Mar-11-23, 17:11
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Im am reminded of Dr Sweeny counseling me on my risks for colon cancer. He drank a heaping spoon of Consyl in a glass of orange juice. He handled GI surgeries, including colonoscopies. He was the only doctor to point out my real risk for colon cancer and helped me get the procedure before the age of 50. A real doctor. Kind ,thoughtful. Only one to talk colon issues. Oncologists only talked breast cancer. Like ovarian and colon cancers did not exist.

I transfered the fiber info without the oj. Just sucked it down in water. Yuk eventually bought a bag of horse bran for not much more than a couple containers of Consyl!! Bagged it up and tossed in freezer.

Eventually made jump to fiber from foods. All kinds of fibers are in food, not just the outer bran from grain. I had to rely on my knowledge of hay to reach this point of thinking. Which is not the angle most folks have. Hay has cellulose and hemi -cellulose and lignins. All fibers. Lignin is best left to the ruminants. Requires much chewing to become bioavailable. And im not chewing my cud to do that. Clearly the lignin feeds certain microbes but are humans set up for that??

I dont think so. Ihmo, fiber is a complicated subject for human digestion. What ever we eat, it requires specific microbes to do the digesting of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

The question is do we need it? I think some of us benefit from vegetables and fibrous ones and some cannot handle vegetables, or the contaminantes that come with those foods.

Clearly many on carnivore benefit. For me and colin cancer, many vegetables are viewed as anti cancer like mushrooms and the list is long according to dr. Li who does the research.

Grains.
Hull
Bran
Endosperm
Germ

Us very low carbers like to use the hull cause we cannot digest that lignin. Whole wheat re moves that, leaving the other three. Is bran digestable? No. But it slows the digestion of the starches, and the endosperm adds a bit of fat, slow digestion.

Yes, all crazy stuff. Fiber is complicated.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Mar-12-23, 08:05
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WereBear WereBear is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav
I bought and read Metabolical as soon as it came out in 2021 and can concur with much of what Bawdy wrote in her review.


Thanks for giving me the publication date! Which is NOT on my Kindle Unlimited version, I looked. This explains how I totally missed it: 2021 was my year to try to work 40 hours a week in my small business. I was trying to make up the giant deficit from getting laid off during lockdown. 2022 was me on 5 months of bed rest, trying to recover from forcing myself to work 40 hours a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav
For example, there are studies out there which suggest fibre is good for us because when you add it to the diet in place of refined carbs, people's blood sugar doesn't spike so hard afterwards ... Of course, that finding could just as easily be because of the removal of the carbs as it was the addition of the fibre, but the authors of this example are known nutrition traditionalists, so naturally it must be the fibre, and this is why whole grains are good for us, etc.


This is what paradigms do, and why they must be TESTED in actual SCIENCE. (Augh!) Paradoxes are friends. They tell us where we are going wrong, like the famous "French Paradox" illustrating the actual food facts they got wrong.

I currently rely on my coconut consumption to provide fiber. My digestion is super-sensitive to most plant things, it seems. Even the few leaves of romaine I added to my Italian sub in a coconut wrap became a warning. I think it's likely the way I used to eat was so damaging my digestive system is now on constant alert. There's no point in telling me, "How can you have such an OVERreaction to a few leafy greens? They're good for you!"

They aren't good for me. There isn't a nutrient in them I can't get, more easily, from meat, seafood, and dairy. When I eat vegetables, I don't think I get much nutrition. In fact, I'm with the writers speculating that the "vegan honeymoon" isn't simply the replacement of junk with vegetables, which is, for most people, a significant upgrade in nutrition.

Also, a leaky gut might respond when someone changes from junk to juices. They might do a juice cleanse and actually get some relief. Only to ruin it when they get into soy concoctions like tofurkey and fake meat to shut up their protein craving. Which I know, from reading vegan soup labels, means they love sugar in all its forms. They are, if strict, essentially doing the Rice Diet of "they won't stay on it, I have to whip them" fame.

It's additionally that vegetables seem to vary greatly when it comes to bio-available nutrition. In people who digest vegetables, especially if they cook them or try recipes, could mean vegan can work as a calorie-restricted fast. Without making it feel like a lack of food.

It's like a virtue-signaling way to stuff yourself without guilt. As a recovered eating disorder person, I see how veganism can become a binge-substitute for some people. (Because they talk on Youtube and I grasp how they still have a food obsession, essentially. I've been there.)

These people can break their food addiction if they are given stuff to nosh that will help them get off the junk food. And we all know how well that moderation/portion control ploy works when it comes to addictive substances like wheat, sugar, and those opiods in milk products that make us helpless before ice cream. I've been able to transfer that to cheese and my protein smoothies.

It goes all the way to the other end of the food spectrum, where "keto" is really about the nuts, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. Everything we try that works also get gets grabbed by the pyramid schemes and con artists. To make none of it have meaning.

As a six week switchover stage, a "vegan cleanse" might actually have some health utility. Get people cooking, and have tasty vegetables in mind, as they move towards a better eating plan for their individual needs. But no one is doing it that way, though I think that's the place for vegan. I know I wouldn't last six weeks. I only lasted 2-3 months on vegetarian without getting pale, fat, tired, and sick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav
However, one important take-home for me that was repeatedly stressed throughout the book in more general terms, was that it's not just what's in the food, it's what's also been done to the food. He made a very good point that the latter is not covered by nutrition information labelling, and I think that's something to be considered in future iterations of food labelling policy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav
Overall, while I found myself not necessarily fully agreeing with every individual point he had to make, I still got some value out of the book in the end.


I got excited about his book by his calling out of what I think of as the Medical-Industrial Complex. Which has tentacles from agriculture to pharmaceutical, distorting every stage of the life cycle, killing us slowly through our wallets.

I thought this was by far the MOST valuable part of the book. The food research should have been sprinkled throughout, as support and discussion points.(Speaking as an editor.) He's too much of an academic to see that, but you'd think a Big Five publishing house would. It being, yanno, their JOB. But they have fired everyone competent so their spreadsheet looks good every single quarter.

It's a political book about health. It should have focused on the dangers as we slide towards everything being ultra-processed, which would have fitted his excellent title.

I saw this during the late 80's/early 90's when artificial food hit a new peak. They took out the fat and added sugar. That was the beginning of my own experience with actual weight loss success by being able to control my own access to food and exercise. I could workout every morning, count fat grams, and snack on rice cakes sprinkled with white cheddar cheese dust. This regimen kept me a consistent size 12, with the exercise making the loss better distributed on a tall frame.

Everyone, including myself, saw it as a success of my effort, which it was. Though not a recipe for long term success, it turned out. It was actually laying the groundwork for future disaster. At forty I started gaining and when I tried what worked before, it made things worse. That led me to Atkins.

And thank goodness and this forum I would have had a mental and/or physical breakdown a few times by now.
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