Remembering Kevin Moore

2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee Member Joanne Slavin: ‘There Is No Scientific Basis For The U.S. Dietary Guidelines’

When the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unleashed its long-awaited 2010 Dietary Guidelines on the American public on January 31, 2011, they were heralded that day as “a science-based roadmap” according to the USDA blog. This “science-based roadmap” has since morphed into the new high-grain, low-fat MyPlate introduced earlier this month that will be the new standard for nutrition over the next five years and no doubt will be trumpeted and parroted by nutritionists, physicians, and all the other so-called health “experts” purporting to care about the health of the American people. After all, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines were created by a respected and prestigious group of people who made up the 13-member Scientific Advisory Committee and influenced by testimony from Americans who have changed their lives through healthy nutrition. The credentials of the Committee members in the field of nutrition and health would insure that what would eventually become the 2010 Dietary Guidelines would be iron-clad and impeccable because they would be based on all the latest in scientific research, right? Wellllll, maybe not according to one of the prominent members of the Scientific Advisory Committee.

Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, was the head of the Carbohydrate Committee and on the Protein sub-committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee. She was invited to be one of the guest speakers at The 9th Conference on Preventative Nutrition in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 18, 2011. Perhaps Ms. Slavin felt more at liberty to express her true feelings about the final version of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines being overseas and didn’t realize that I’d have eyes and ears listening in to what she had to say. But according to my source who was in attendance to hear her speech, you could tell she had an obvious discontent with the nutritional recommendations that are now being thrust upon Americans.

There is no scientific basis for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Yes, you read that right! Although Slavin was a major part of the scientific panel that went into creating the nutritional recommendations that will become the standard for what constitutes a “healthy” diet for the next five years, she feels the final version was not based on that science. My source noted that she described the review process where members of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee were asked to base all of their recommendations on the scientific evidence specifically related to humans, especially intervention studies. However, there was only one problem with that according to Slavin.

There are no human intervention studies.

She explained that in the end the Committee had to rely primarily on prospective cohort studies or “expert opinion” which my source said she dismissed as inferior from a scientific point of view. My source said members of the audience were “flabbergasted” to hear such a prominent member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee basically dismissing the recommendations that were revealed on January 31, 2011.

Near the end of her lecture, my source said Slavin showed a revealing slide about obesity rates since the very first Dietary Guidelines were published in 1980:

Here’s the story she shared about how she came upon this information:

A friend sent me this slide. Who can tell me when obesity starts to pick up?

My source yelled out, “1980!” Slavin continued with a wink and a nod.

Yes, exactly after the publication of the Dietary Guidelines. But we all know that nobody listens to them anyway don’t we?

At the end of her lecture, Slavin complained that after all the hard work they invested in keeping the scientific integrity of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines as sound and intact as possible, they were basically written by people at the USDA whether there was any connection between the science and the published recommendations or not. When her lecture was finished, my source said they didn’t take any questions nor did they allow any remarks from the audience.

However, he noticed during her speech that she completely ignored the human intervention studies on high-fat, low-carb diets that have shown a spontaneous decrease in food intake as was shown in the Shai study published in The New England Journal Of Medicine in 2008 (ironically, conducted in Israel) as well as many others in recent years. Plus, despite her assertions that people aren’t following the Dietary Guidelines, he noted the consumption of grains, low fat milk, and vegetable oils in the United States have all been on the rise while whole milk, butter and red meat has decreased–all of which have resulted in triple healthcare costs in America since 1980 while food costs have remained constant.

Interestingly, Slavin’s lecture and attendance at this meeting in Israel was sponsored and paid for by Uniliver which has an interesting take on the role of carbohydrates in the diet as the manufacturer of high-carb breakfast cereals. Slavin herself has said “There are many healthy eating patterns, and potatoes, pasta, white bread and rice surely fit into many of these.” Leave it to my buddy Richard Nikoley from “Free The Animal” to call a spade a spade about Slavin. You gotta wonder why she would speak ill of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines when they seem to fit with her personal worldview on nutrition.

What do you think about Professor Joanne Slavin stating quite emphatically that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines are basically a scientific sham? I have been attempting to contact her via e-mail for the past month to get her to comment further on this in an interview, but I have received no response to multiple inquiries. Feel free to share your thoughts about this interesting development with her directly at jslavin@umn.edu. And, of course, you can leave your feedback about this developing story in the comments section below. What’s going on here?

  • Low Carb Dave

    This is criminal.

    • Why isn’t she making the media rounds in America about this?

  • caroln

    Apparently she disagrees with the medium, but not the message. Otherwise I think she would be raising quite a big stink.

    You know Jimmy, after listening to your interview with Ron Rosedale this past weekend, and then listening to several other of your podcasts with other doctors, all of whom cite that what they were taught in med school was “surgery and medications” to quote Dr. Rosedale, clearly with a pharmaceutical slant eg… pharmaceuticals control a lot of what is taught in medical schools, also based on your interviews with other doctors… and then on Dr. Mercola’s site he has a link to a video documentary about to be released about the way the government… NIH, FDA, IOM, etc essentially tortured (in a figurative sense) and harrassed a doctor in Houston for DECADES because he had shown success (with better results than chemo and radiation) in using nutritional protocols to treat various types of cancer… and then tried to steal his approaches… it is well worth seeing… (Kracynski is the dr’s name)…. and then another interview on Dr. Mercola’s site with Dr. Gonzalez who worked directly with another doctor from NY who essentially lost his mind after he tried for about 20 yrs (ending in 1983 when he could no longer function) to get his successful nutritional cancer treatment protocols published, even with someone very well connected in the “traditional medical” circles…. he was repeatedly, repeatedly turned down.

    And then I read this… I didn’t have too many walls of faith in the government after all I’ve learned over the years… banana republics, giving nuclear secrets to Pakistan, “healthcare reform” bought and paid for by the insurance companies… and no public option for US citizens, etc etc etc etc… I must conclude that the government IS corporations. We are truly living in an invisible fascist state.

    Ms. Slavin’s statements clearly expose the guidelines as a sham and that over the decades, they have been correlated with rampant obesity in the US. I used to say that I stopped short of believing in the grand conspiracy that the agribusiness complex would be in cohorts with the pharmaceutical cos. to induce obesity and poor health (diabetes and heart disease) in Americans so that the pharmaceuticals could reap big benefits… but as of this moment, after all the evidence there is re these types of diets… I have changed my mind.

    IMHO it is an orchestrated effort … and the American people are their unknowing, willing subjects, haplessly brain-washed into buying low-fat and whole grain, high carb foods, consuming vast amounts of sugar (see Taubes NYT)… while it is true that some people can get by on that type of diet without adverse health benefits, as Dr. Phinney said in his recent podcast… it’s about half and half… so that’s a very big pool of Americans to still profit from their poor health from following USDA dietary guidelines.

    I’m sorry for this long rant… delete it if you think it is too off topic, and I don’t mean to hijack the thread… but you asked us what we thought and frankly this article was the tipping point for me…. there can be no other explanation for the USDA to step in and completely ignore the scientists on a scientific panel… it’s analogous to oil company executives working for the EPA to increase the profits of their companies by weakening environmental laws… only in this case… the lives of millions of people are at stake.

    And they have no conscience, only a desire to line their pockets. As the late, great Molly Ivins once asked, “How much is enough?”

    • Bravo! You should start blogging with passion like this!

      • caroln

        Thanks Jimmy… is this common knowledge?… that the whole ‘food pyramid’ eat your grains and low-carb bs (for carb intolerant folks anyway… which just take a look around, it’s a lot of us)… is perpetuated to cause people to be sick so that more drugs can be sold (a la Mercola and my recent aha moment)…

        Have you known this for a while (if you agree?)… Perhpas Taubes talks about it in his books… this is the first time I’ve really been convinced.

        Thank you Ms. Slavin…

        So I’m just curious if everyone else knows this and I am late to the party?

        Everything really does start to make sense now…. I feel sort of like I felt at the end of ‘Soylent Green’, but much sadder at the immensity of the greed, in this case.

        • It’s pretty much assumed….where there’s money to be made, all other bets are off. Sounds conspiratorial, but why else would they be ignoring the science?

        • Ann

          And the sad thing is, from all I read, I truly believe that even those who tolerate carbs better than others don’t necessarily feel as great or have as much energy as they could, and eventually pay the price in their later years if their intake is high enough; I get that some people can do well with a higher intake than others, but I still think when you start to get into the 100-200g a day range, even those folks are pushing it, health-wise. From all I’ve learned, it’s clear that, even accounting for variations in body chemistry, the human body does better on a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in fats, hands down. As someone once aptly explained, a poodle and a great dane don’t require vastly different diets, so even accounting for individual needs/variations in body chemistry, why does it stand to reason that our species would?

          As for your comments on big pharma and agribusiness, I have to admit the conspiracy is beginning to look more and more real, especially when you take into account how many the ADA’s corporate sponsors are pharmaceutical companies and others who thrive off the back of diabetes and other dietary illnesses. As Jimmy says, there’s pretty much no other reason for them to be ignoring the clear-cut science, especially since this isn’t even new information (I knew our diets had changed for the worse over the years, but I was shocked when Tom Naughton posted an episode of The Andy Griffith Show from 1964 where Barney turned down apple pie for dessert, saying he was watching his carbohydrates and glucose!).

          • I posted that Andy Griffith video on my FB page. :)

  • caroln

    should have said “the agribusiness complex would be in cahoots with the pharmaceutical cos.”… sorry.

  • caroln

    Okay… so I just listened to Jimmy’s podcast with Dr. Mercola from today… and here’s an incredible quote from him explaining why he is combatting the disinformation spewing forth from the drug companies, because:

    “There’s a vested corporate interest from the drug companies who literally have 10s of billions of dollars of revenue to play with to continue to brainwash physicians and the public through directed consumer advertising that drugs in fact are the solution.

    Basically they create diseases for these drugs and are able to annuitize these revenues from drugs for many, many years and decades.”

    Okay… now I don’t feel so kooky! Mercola says “Basically they create diseases for these drugs…” How do we get this out to the public?

    I think person to person, over and over and over… til people start to see the truth. I’ve been scared to tell my cousin, recently diagnosed with T2 Diabetes that fats are okay… and that even saturated fats are okay!… Time for me to step up and get the word out.

  • Laura

    “Nobody listens to it.”

    I disagree. Whenever I share my belief in low carb, people parrot what they believe they’ve been told by the guidelines. It “flavors” their belief that the brain needs carbohydrates (more than you get from fruit and vegetables), that fat is bad for you and you must limit it, that you need grains, etc. With the last version, it made “5-7 servings of fruit daily” a well-ingrained belief of what diets should include.


    • Yep, you’re so right Laura. And it’s presented in such an authoritative way that nobody questions if it is scientifically-based or not.

  • marilynb

    It’s outrageous if it’s true, and I suspect it probably is. Of course, that prompted me to google for “Scientific Basis For The U.S. Dietary Guidelines”, which lead me to the USDA Evidence Library – http://www.nutritionevidencelibrary.gov/. But there’s no way I can make heads or tails out of that, I’m an accountant, not a scientist. LOL! Jimmy, do you know of anyone independent of the USDA who’s studied this evidence library?

    • I know there are groups who are trying to promote the genuine science, but your idea would be a good project for someone to take up. Anyone?

    • Mike P.

      I followed your link to the USDA Evidence Library and navigated my way to a handful of different areas. I was surprised how much of the evidence was based on ‘cohort studies’, which is lipstick on the ‘observational study’ pig. Their area surrounding macro-nutrient intake and energy balance actually included a lot of randomized controlled trials [RCT], which was good to see.

      The problem was a lot of the RCT’s that looked at low carb, high fat diets defined ‘low carb’ as ~40% of calories. Come again? I aim to eat, on average, about 75g a day of carbs. Some day’s I am ketogenic and in the 20g/30g range and other days I am 110g/115g. I am about 6’2″, 220lbs with BF% in the high teens, so I am fairly healthy. Depending on your calorie intake formula, that puts my daily calorie needs around 2500 calories…give or take a little. 40% of calories equates out to about 250g of carbs – that would put me on the fast track BACK to 300lbs..guaranteed!!!! My target of 75g [which is high for many in the paleo/primal world] is ~12%.

      I am not a nutritionist, but I am a reliability engineer and know my way around statistics. It scares me to see so much emphasis put on ‘cohort’ studies, consolidated meta-analysis, etc. The USDA is so far removed from the actual data that it render’s their recommendations useless.

      • dennymack

        The best way to massage results is to change your definitions. This works in education and economics, why not in health studies?

        • You know this well as an educator in Oregon. 😉

  • Dan (aka Renegadediabetic)

    This is encouraging. The truth is coming out. Too bad it’s only on foreign shores.

    As for her other comments, either she speaks with forked tongue, or she is begining to see the light.

  • John

    It almost certainly is criminal. I can see litigation on the horizon, maybe a class action suit. Laying direct blame will be extremely hard though. So many parties are involved in business, scientific, and government communities. Triangles are the hardest structures to break.

    I wonder if this will place any pressure to the ATP later this summer. The food guidelines are founded on the ATP recommendations. I keep saying the ATP has to change before the world can.

  • Wow Jimmy,

    This is an eye opening story!

    Dr Gerber

  • As an accountant, an economist and as a burningly passionate hobby-paleontologist and hobby-historian, I will tell you to follow the money. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Give the (possibly initially moral and upstanding) employees in big-agra and big-pharma enough of a monetary-social-position-yeada-yaha incentive and those hands will cover those ears… La la la, I can’t HEAR you!
    Three cheers for Joanne Slavin for removing those hands and actually looking at the facts before her.

    • Now if we can just get her to say these things in the US press.

      • Don’t hold your breath, is all I can say. (Unless you come supplied with a large cargo of oxygen tubes…)

  • Sharon Palmer-Brownstein

    This is such a travesty I don’t even know where to start. To think that the US Government continues to put out misinformation which makes it citizens sicker and sicker. I am totally disgusted by this. And, unfortunately, most US citizens either don’t care enough to question what they have been told, or are too afraid to take responsibility for their own health. Most of us in the low-carb/high fat arena have taken the bull by the horns and have adopted the LC/HF lifestyle for great health and wellbeing despite what our doctors have told us. We eat real food, not “frankenfood,” and yet that is what the US Government says is better for us? Deplorable.

    • Makes you want to start a Food Revolution like they have going on in Sweden with LCHF.

  • Lori

    The problem I see is that no, the average person will not go out of their way to look into the new dietary guidelines, but I GUARANTEE you the major corporations will certainly SCREAM them into each household via cereal and junk food commercials, stating how they are made with HEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS! We all know the majority of this country is nutritionally educated by commercials and fashion magazines..don’t we?!?!

    Also, I honestly don’t mean to be rude here, but why does Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota – seem to have the most god awful skin complexion I have ever seen? I hope this is just a very bad picture or I would have to believe that her diet may need looked into. Thats the first place I would look if my skin and hair were so incredibly dry and unhealthy looking. I have to say..I look for people in the nutrition and medical fields that walk the walk. Is their weight reasonable? Does their skin and hair look healthy? Are they excessively wrinkled for their age? (Dr Oz?) I’m no scholar with a lot of initials after my name, nor am I a doctor or nurse, heck..I bet this is even full of typos, but I am someone with good eyes and a lot of common sense. Unfortunately my good eyes see a whole lot of the medical profession that look just as obese and unhealthy as the average Joe just trying to figure this all out! Hopefully more average Joe and Joanns will start to realize that what they say just aint workin and start their own quest for health!

    Lori from Pgh

    • dennymack

      Who are you going to believe, the experts or your own lying eyes?
      By the way, your writing is just fine. Lucid and expressive.

  • Sharon Palmer-Brownstein

    I think we are already starting a food revolution, but at the grass roots level. Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend the Fourth Annual Low Carb Cruise received a huge amount of information about the LC/HF revolution going on in Sweden and talked about endlessly by our Swedish friends who were also in attendance. If we have to convert one person at a time to the LC/HF lifestyle, then so be it. As for me, I am so glad I declared my independence from carbs almost three years ago, on July 4, 2008.

    • One person at a time, we WILL make a difference.

  • Dave

    I just want to clarify a point that I think some are missing. When Dr. Slavin said, “Yes, exactly after the publication of the Dietary Guidelines. But we all know that nobody listens to them anyway don’t we?”, it was with a “wink and a nod.” She was calling out those who claim that our obesity epidemic couldn’t have started then, with those guidelines, because they maintain that no one adheres to the guidelines anyway. With the wink and nod, she is stating that people DO listen, and that they were the worse for doing so.

  • Jay Wortman MD

    Good catch, Jimmy!

    Given that she is probably squarely in the high-carb/low-fat camp to begin with, this is even more remarkable. I mean that she would say that publicly. We all kind of know what has happened behind the scenes. That part is not too surprising, really. But for someone to break ranks like that is noteworthy. I suspect she has been duly chastened for her sins and that is why she won’t respond to your missives.

    Keep up the good work!

    • It’s a shame they have to lay these games and not speak their minds more often.

  • John Pearson

    I find it noteworthy Dr. Slavin is from the University of Minnesota. This is a research university and the School of Food Science and Nutrition works hand-in-hand with large corporations conducting various food studies and product development trials. The interests of companies such as General Mills/Pillsbury, Cargill, and Hormel Foods are intertwined with those of the University of Minnesota. I suspect these corporations, directly and indirectly, pay Dr. Slavin’s salary.

    Some might see this as a conflict of interest.

  • dennymack

    This issue is surrounded by a problem of interest and influence. Who has the most interest in these guidelines, and who has the most influence? And, how are interest and influence concentrated?
    Collectively, we the people have the most interest in these guidelines. 300 million lives are potentially influenced by them.
    But our interests are diffuse. Most people would rank this sort of issue near the bottom of the “top 100 things going on in my life” list.
    For the industries, this is a central issue. They also concentrate resources due to their focus on these issues. When we put together a panel to represent us, it is far more likely to represent them. They have far more concentration of force on this issue than we do. They will make and break senators who represent those amber waves of grain, and they will push forward individuals that represent their views. They will do this constantly, because they can devote a whole staff and budget to just these issues.
    We, on the other hand, have 300 million different sets of interests.
    That is why I like to see folks like Jimmy Moore and the readers of this site. We need people who are focused on these issues passionately, to a degree that is almost obsessive. This is the only way the people can match the focus of the vested interests.
    A good example is Mike P. :”Some day’s I am ketogenic and in the 20g/30g range and other days I am 110g/115g.” I don’t even know what that means, but I bet he does. Guys like Mike have more grass roots influence than many think.
    So keep your irrational passion fired up. Just don’t get discouraged that others “don’t pay enough attention” to this issue. They may be applying their irrational passion to childcare, or physics.
    Thanks Jimmy, I just found your site and I’m really enjoying it.

  • Dave

    several years ago, after observing my own waistline expand after adopting a lower-fat and higher complex carb diet, I began to ponder when all this started. When I was a kid, the verbiage was, “eat a balanced diet.” Once the food pyramid came out favoring carbs over balance, obesity took off and with it the rates of adult-onset diabetes,high blood pressure and heart disease.

    I ran my theory of unintended consequences past my doc, an Internal Medicine guy I really liked and he agreed the higher-carb diet was likely a cause of our modern maladies. I’ve since done Atkins twice. I lost 48 lbs on the first pass before I fell off the wagon on a business trip to Belgium and am now on my second pass. I am down almost 30 lbs in two months. I feel better, am more alert, get more done, wake up more refreshed and my heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides are DOWN!

    It seems, to me anyway, we have created a nation of carbohydrate addicts craving the quick buzz and forfeiting the long haul.
    I am bookmarking Jimmy’s blog. This is good stuff.

    Best to all,

    • Thanks Dave. Sadly, I believe your theory is correct.

  • Jimmy
    I am “your source” my name is Miki Ben Dor, I live in Israel and have a blog in Hebrew called Paleostyle with over 100 posts. The above-mentioned issue was the subject of one of my posts. It never occurred to me to hide my identity. If I say something I am fully prepared to stand by it in any forum.
    take care

    • Awesome Miki! Thanks for being my eyes and ears there. :)

  • JimF

    If you look up how the USDA food pyramid started you will find that it started by congress being convinced by the railroad barons so they could their grain in the midwest to the east coast.

  • Charlie

    Food science isn’t science!


  • Thank you for this informative post. I have never been a huge fan of conspiracy theories. I feel that it is more about the egos of the people who feel they have been appointed to determine the truth for the rest of us. As more and more of the actual truth surfaces, there is this most desperate attempt to keep control. So, sparks will fly and heads will roll. It’s all good.

  • Ginger

    Hmm…if Dr. Slavin WERE to speak out in the American press, I wonder how long it would take before she was pressured to shut up or change her opinion. $$ talks…

    • Sad but true.

    • Katy

      She does many lectures around the country, and what of her hundreds of students in her nutrition classes? I can’t imagine her coming clean.

      • She must have believed it in her heart of hearts or she never would have said it in Israel. The paradigm is shifting!

  • Mike C

    You’d almost think that this was some sort of scam to increase supervision of individuals by the state and send tax dollars to favoured constituencies.

    Nah, couldn’t be that…!

    I’ve never seen a better argument for defunding the HHS deparment. The government which governs best, governs least.

    • Throw in the USDA’s involvement in nutrition while you’re at it.

  • Great post, Jimmy! I can’t decide if I’m inspired or depressed by it. Lately I’ve begun to think that having science on your side is not enough. The average American doesn’t get science — which is scary for our future. What low-carb needs is a touchy-feely philosophy.

    • Definitely needs personalization which is why weight loss, diabetes control, and other benefits of low-carb that impact people directly need to be highlighted more.

  • The cracks in their belief system are beginning to show. We have to keep pushing. I like to think that Bob Atkins is smiling somewhere.

  • Peggy Holloway

    In a few minutes, I will be going to see my primary care physician. I don’t get yearly check-ups, so haven’t been in two years. At that time, when she sent my lab results, she asked if I wanted to do something about my cholesterol (TC 230, HDL 89, triglycerides 50), so I have misgivings about her support of low-carb, although she is usually open to my unconventional views on many things.
    I planned to have a preventive check later this summer, but moved it up due to some unexpected developments. I have plans to leave Sat. for a 4-day bike trip. Over the past week, I have had some disturbing GI symptoms so I want to rule out something serious before going off to the boonies to ride for 250 miles. I have felt acidy and bloated for a week. A week ago, I became very fatigued a little feverish and achy after a 34-mile ride and thought I had an entero virus. I felt better the next few days, but Tues. night had a sudden-onset of severe abdominal pain resulting in vomiting (something I never do) so severe I passed out.
    I had eaten a very high-fat dinner, which makes me suspect gallbladder. My retired-physician partner doesn’t think it is. So, all of this is to say, that conventional medicine blames fat for gallbladder disease and suggests that a high-fat meal will trigger an attack. So, what will I do if this is gallbladder and I’m told to reduce my fat intake?
    Any ideas out there? I am such a believer in my HFLC lifestyle that I’m really disturbed by the possibility that something has really gone wrong here. Help!!!!

    • Katy

      I developed gall stones and had to have my gall bladder removed at age 19 due to low fat nonsense. I haven’t had any problems since digesting fat. Dr. Eades has a good post on this:


      It sounds to me like your problem is farther down, maybe appendicitis?

      “The symptoms of appendicitis vary. It can be hard to diagnose appendicitis in young children, the elderly, and women of childbearing age.

      Typically, the first symptom is pain around your belly button. (See: Abdominal pain) The pain may be vague at first, but becomes increasingly sharp and severe. You may have reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever.”

      How’s the elimination? Diverticulosis/itis?

      • Peggy Holloway

        The good news is that the primary care Doc didn’t think it was gallbladder either. She thought excess acid (which I haven’t had since going low-carb 11 years ago, so I’m not sure what is going on now) perhaps coupled with an entero virus that had disturbed my gut flora. She wants me to take a short course of Prilosec, which I’m not to thrilled about, but will probably do so just to prevent the ingestion while 8 hours from home on a bicycle seat for 4 days/250 miles.
        I have done some thinking about food intake the past week, and I’m wondering if it was erythritol I used in my homemade ice cream. I have major problems with maltilol, but thought erythritol was OK for me. I’m going to stay away from all sugar alcohols now. Not sure what to use in my ice cream since I’ve heard such bad things about granular Splenda and I’m not sure how much Stevia to use (along with the after-taste issues with Stevia).
        But, it looks very unlikely that I’m dealing with gallbladder.
        Now if I can just my Doc (whom I have only seen twice in 5 years) to stop asking if I want to do something about my cholesterol LDL 130, HDL 90, triglycerides 50. What?????

        • caroln

          Hi Peggy.. good news about no gall bladder problems!

          I suggest the Volek/Phinney book for your doctor… the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living… in there, they do a thorough de-bunking of the LDL driver for lipid concerns and say that the HDL/triglyceride ratio actual correlates much better with heart health. I just gave one to my doctor yesterday.

          And the good thing about the V/P book… their writing is very sympathetic to traditionally trained doctors… so there is no hitting them over the head with a hammer or anything… at first I didn’t like that… but given the intended audience IS RNs, dieticians and doctors who don’t know about this stuff… it makes good sense.

          I think it is a fantastic book… and it’s answered a lot of questions I’ve had for myself.

          PS… SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia is the answer to all Stevia extract aftertaste! There is absolutely ZERO aftertaste with it… you can buy it on Amazon and I saw it at a local coop health food store yesterday too, so you may even be able to buy it locally. A little bit goes a long way!

          • Peggy Holloway

            I actually had that book with me in the office. My doctor was the partner of my significant other, who is a retired physician. He has had many conversations with her, and I’m not sure me giving her the book would be appropriate. Maybe Doctor Ken (my SO) will. He is giving out low-carb advice right and left (unofficially) to friends and has pretty much converted himself, resulting in a 30 pound weight loss even eating way more carbs than I ever could, but he doesn’t have the family history of insulin-resistance that I do. Sadly, there are unwritten laws about the relationship between physicians, especially former partners, and I think he would be uncomfortable openly challenging her. We’ll see. I’d like to give a copy of the PV book to every doctor in the country
            Do you have a formula for substituting stevia in recipes? I have used the drops for sweetening the few things I ever use sweetener in, but I’m trying to make ice cream for Dr. Ken who hasn’t completely adapted his taste to life without sugar. I can live without out, but he isn’t to that point yet and I’d like to help him stay with his low-carb lifestyle and not sabotage himself by eating regular ice cream.

  • satish

    I agree that the dietary guidelines are more influenced by politics than science. That’s why I don’t look at it for dietery recommendations. Instead the Harvard pyramid and nutrition guide are much better scientifically and easy to follow.

  • I thought it was also interesting that “In 1980, five years before the introduction of New Coke (1985 – when the switch happened) half the cane sugar in Coca-Cola had been replaced with high fructose corn syrup.” They gradually changed the formula so that no one would notice a change in flavor.

  • Lardlad

    They wouldn’t be able to do this if more people cared. Too many people are more interested in being “entertained.” Entertainment has replaced health. As long as people stay occupied mentally, these kinds of things will go on. You can question their character, but it is our fault (some more than others) these things go on. People cannot research all aspects of their lives to get the best information available but health and nutrition should be more important to many more people than Survivor, or Dancing With the Stars.

    The reason I say this is I get comments on my weight loss. When I say I eat low carb, they always say ‘oh yeah Atkins — yeah you can lose a lot of weight that way’. They know it works, but that is the end of the conversation. Sweets is another form of entertainment, so we can’t give that up. Gary Taubes’ mission seems to be education, that low carb isn’t going to make your heart explode. When he explains how insulin regulates fat he always says “And no one cares.” He is referring to the doctors and scientists, but the people who could benefit from his work don’t are either, only a few. But I have less faith than him. I lean more towards complacency than ignorance. Many of these people that remark on my weight loss themselves are overweight, and I hope the conversation to continue. But everyone is so distracted, they’d rather leave their health up to these kinds of organizations. There are just too many people who don’t care until you take their toys away and they realize they live inside their own sick body, rather than their favorite athlete or movie star. Sounds harsh but it is partially my own experience.

    • Youv definitely hit on something I’ve LONG discussed. We need to make low-carb a cultural event. It’s why a major celeb needs to tout it.

  • Jimmy, On your comment about a major celeb speaking out for Low Carb, I’m going to stick my neck out and root for Dr. Oz to be the first of the top tier celebs in the medical field to support low carb. If you watch the interaction between Dr. Oz, Gary Taubes, and Dr. Weil in some of the videos I’m seeing, I think that’s coming.
    Dr. Oz will, I predict, keep on hangin’ with the Mediterranean diet folks till the timing is right and then be the first to jump ship. Right now there’s lots of controversy that is good for TV ratings, but when that dies down I think he’s going to join us Low Carb troublemakers.

    • You know, Joe, I tend to agree with you. And he’s done SEVERAL shows about the health dangers of consuming carbohydrates.

  • At Meeting 1, Day 2, of the DGAC meetings (October 2008), Joanne Slavin, University of Minnesota Nutrition School, who appointed herself carbohydrate chair, testified that we must consume up to 65% of our calories as carbohydrates; that we should not single out HFCS as a ‘bad’ carbohydrate; that the glycemic index is not helpful; that there is no reason to grade carbohydrates – it would be too controversial! Her first day testimony remains unchallenged to this day. Now she is in Israel saying the guidelines were not based on science? I don’t get it? She was essentially General Mills’ advocate at the DGAC hearing. General Mills and Cargill contribute heavily to her department. Who funds her fiber studies? Now – 3 years after sabotaging any effort to restrict carbs – she is saying that the guidelines aren’t based on science? Give me a high fat break!

  • vicky

    This is one of the reasons why we must do our own research – so we can learn to think for ourselves.

  • I wish you could publish an official transcript of this speech. These guidelines ARE like sacred documents and dictate school lunch programs and day care menus in Michigan. We’ve just received a directive from licensing that we WILL NOT serve whole or 2% milk to any child over 2 years old because of the new guidelines. Parents need a note from a DOCTOR to waive it. However, we’re free to serve them flavored milk, as long as it’s fat free. I’ve blogged about this at my website http://www.joyfulnoisedaycare.com/daycare.html with the links to all the directives and the relative information at the NEL which supposedly supports this decision. There’s no basis for it at all. I need to ask Lansing for a variance for my clients in order to serve whole milk to their children without notes from their doctors and I need some documentation to back up my request. A transcript of this speech would be so helpful!

    • Chris, I’m working hard on it–but one better. Trying desperately to get audio or video. Wish me luck!

  • Amalia

    I’m just a average mom of 3 that started reading stuff about nutrition when my youngest was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome seven years ago. The problem is that there is SOOO much information out that that conflicts with everything else. How is an average joe supposed to sort through thousands of websites when they work, have kids, and have soccer practice? I’ve made it a priority and I STILL can’t figure it out! I’ve basically given up and eat like my grandparents (born in 1900 and 1910) ate. Why can’t we just go back to when I was a kid. You eat lots of veggies, lots of fruit, and home cooked meals. I think beyond carbohydrates it’s a problem with processed foods like corn syrup and preservatives that are attacking our systems. Sure, it’s easy, but how much of your health are you willing to pay for the convenience?

    I have to spend hundreds more a month in order to feed my family non subsidized, non GMO, non pesticide foods. Back in the day we just called it ‘food’. Between Monsanto and the pharmaceutical companies, America doesn’t have a chance.


    • We’re working to change that Amalia and to make it all understandable here. :)

  • Mayne

    First, I love what you have to say. I think a lot of it is correct. However, this article bothers me because it is based on hearsay. I’d rather see the transcript of the meeting or a video clip.

    Personally, I don’t think the problem is low carb, low fat, high grain, high protein, or whatever. The problem is the chemicals we put on our fields, what we are feeding the animals we use to raise for food and the chemicals we inject into them, the pesticides and preservatives we put on everything, and the massive amounts of chemicals in our food.

    When mad cow disease spread through Europe, we offered them our beef for free and they would not take it. The hormones and junk we feed our animals is just too dangerous. By the way, when I was in Germany and ordered chicken for dinner, I was shocked to be served a whole chicken. Their chickens are smaller, less fatty, and definitely filled with flavor.

    I can’t change everything in my world. I can’t afford to eat 100% organic, either. However, I can afford to cook so that the food we do eat is simpler and I have more control over what is in it. I can treat sugar like the poison it is. I can buy the chicken brands that say they treat the chickens humanely and do not use hormones or antibiotics. I can buy less processed foods. We’ve got to change our understanding of the problem. The problem is that we live in a processed food world, grabbing a granola bar and a smart phone on our way to multi-task. This is not high quality living. We can and should do better.

    • Thanks Mayne. This isn’t a court of law, so it’s not really hearsay per se. My source is highly credible and we are working on obtaining video footage and/or a transcript of the lecture.

  • Paul

    Politics will trump science. Every. Single. Time.

    I do give her props though for what she said, regardless of circumstance or motivation.

    • Would be nice if she owned up to that opinion in the US if she truly meant it.

  • Jim

    Can’t say that I totally agree with low carb. I’m an amateur bodybuilder / personal trainer and we constantly eat a boat load of carbs. But, we also EXERCISE. For those that do not get enough exercise, sure, you have to watch what you eat. There are way too many couch potatos that want to point the finger at carbs like they’re a bad thing, when actually they’re good for you, provided you’re active and not sedentary. But then again, this just branches off to another problem with our society today, lack of physical exercise. One lady above posted something about the diets of our grand parents and simpler living. Well said, but they also worked in the fields all day farming and such, this is how they got their exercise. We are our own worst enemy by making things eaiser on ourselves. So, IMHO, I don’t think carbs are the entire issue, there are way too many factors to take into consideration, ie hormones in chicken, sleeping habits etc etc.

    Now, back to the topic of whether the USDA Daily’s are scientifically based, I’ve often wondered who came up with that garbage anyway, now we know. Just like the BMI (Body Mass Index), what a joke! My BMI is a 32, so I should be obese according to their standards, but I typically run at 10 – 12% bodyfat. I personally try to find what works for my clients and go with it, different people respond to different diet ratios (macros / micros), and the guidelines that the USDA publishes is misleading at best. I have such a hard time re-training the way my clients think about food, it really is sad. OK, getting off my soap box.

    • Jim, you make some great points and I agree society should be more active and doing regular resistance/strength training. It would cover up some of the sins of a high-carb diet. But the reality is they mostly are couch potatoes or sitting behind a desk all day rather than out in the fields working hard. So for them, eating a low-carb lifestyle is probably more necessary than not. Then when their metabolism is so damaged from years of underactivity and overconsuming carbohydrates, there’s an even GREATER need to become carb-conscious. There are no easy answers, but it’s obvious there’s a disconnect between what people should be eating and exercising compared to what they are doing right now. THANKS for sharing from your soapbox today. :)

  • kathy

    This is cold, but what keeps coming to mind here is a new form of “natural selection”. The strong/healthy will survive and the others will begin to die off before they can reproduce, or they’ll be so unhealthy that they can’t reproduce.

    Exceptions? Of course.

    But I’m fed up with trying to discuss a healthier way of eating with people who only quote what “the government says” or “my doctor says” while attending WW meetings for years, counting “points”, cooking with frankenfoods and all the while developing TypeII diabetes. I only have a high school education. If I can “get it”, why can’t they? If they don’t care, why should I?

  • Anonymous

    Cognitive dissonance?

    The corrupting influence of money?

    Domain specificity? (Giving a lecture, she’s a scientist. In her role as an “expert”, she’s an employee. See “the corrupting influence of money”.)

  • She’s afraid. And I understand her fear. Few have the guts to come clean like Bill Davis does!