When Oxfordshire Cotswolds native Dr. Barry Groves and his wife Monica decided to start on a low-carb, high-fat diet beginning in 1962, all of his friends and family thought he was crazy. But when this nutritional scientist Ph.D. lost weight and greatly improved his health by eating supposedly-forbidden foods like butter, full fat meats and cheeses and lard while eschewing blood sugar-spiking carbage foods like bread, pasta and rice, Dr. Groves was the one who had the last laugh. It allowed him to live a long and healthy robust life with over a half century of enjoyable low-carb, high-fat living as one of the UK’s strongest advocates for this healthy lifestyle change. Dr. Groves passed away last night, April 29, 2013 at the age of 77.
Interestingly, while I’ve been away writing my book Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? I have been running some classic episodes of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” on Wednesdays. It turns out one of the former interviews I featured just a few weeks back was with none other than Dr. Barry Groves in Episode 669. If you want to hear from one of the most passionate low-carb, high-fat advocates who ever lived, then take a listen to that LLVLC Classic interview where he shares his story about how he found this way of eating and how it motivated him to do research into why it works while living it for himself.
I actually received a personal e-mail back from Dr. Groves on February 8, 2013 after I requested an interview with him for my cholesterol book. Here was his response in typical Groves fashion:
You gotta love the sensibility on issues like cholesterol that man possessed! I only hate I never got to do that interview with him which would have been awesome for my book. But his information-packed “Second Opinions” web site contains a wealth of knowledge and wisdom on a wide variety of health topics. Hopefully they keep the archives up to serve as a resource to the future generations who desperately need to heed this information in the years to come. Dr. Groves wrote three incredible books on the low-carb, high-fat way of eating in the past decade you should check out:
If you never got to see Dr. Groves speak, he had quite the way with words. Watch these videos to catch a glimpse of what I mean:
WISE TRADITIONS LONDON 2010 LECTURE
WHY YOU CAN’T COUNT CALORIES
Rest in peace Dr. Barry Groves. You were a true champion for the low-carb, high-fat way of eating that has so radically altered the weight and health of many of us who have struggled on all the conventional wisdom advice we had been taught our entire lives. You are an international hero and a dietary legend and will never be forgotten for your contributions to this world. May God’s comfort be with Monica and the rest of the family during this time our mourning. Leave your tribute comments about Dr. Groves at his Facebook page or sending a private message for Monica to read at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5-1-13 UPDATE: I cannot tell you how disappointing it has been to hear so much negativity from people in the low-carb/Paleo community about this tragic loss of a great leader in the low-carb, high-fat world. I expect this from the vegans, but this kind of thing from our people is reprehensible! Dr. Groves deserves better than this from people in this community. Many have asked what the cause of death was and as of right now that has not yet been determined. But before jumping to any conclusions about whether his diet played any role at all in why he died, why don’t we let the family grieve first and instead celebrate the life of this great man who contributed so much to this cause? A reader who is a family doctor in the United States sent me an email that summarizes exactly how I feel about all of this right now:
Nice post on Barry Groves. My father died at 92 despite eating a somewhat typical American diet. My mother is 95 (she has dementia) and is still going fairly strong. She ate fairly well but it certainly wasn’t Paleo. Groves died at 77 and you didn’t mention the cause of death. To be honest, I don’t really care. He lived a long and principled life and that’s what counts.
I think we need to be clear about one thing–eating a low-carb, high-fat diet does not guarantee a long life. There are too many other variables in play–for example genes or the unforeseen lightening strike. One thing I have seen in my patients is that patients who follow this type of healthy diet tend to live life to the fullest until their last breath. They don’t spend decades in disability because of their chronic medical problems. We don’t choose length of life–that’s up to the man upstairs. We do control the quality of our lives and you are a master at this game.
Let’s celebrate the extremely high quality of Dr. Groves’ life. After all, we are all headed in the same direction. It’s not the end that counts–it’s the beauty of the pathway that we take to get there.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! RIP Dr. Barry Groves.