2 Toxic Fats to Avoid at All Costs

Two Toxic Fats in Almost Every Processed Food, Deli and Restaurant You Want To Avoid At All Costs:  Soybean Oil and Canola Oil

By Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, NTP, BCHN

I consider both of these forms of oil to be trash oils that no one in their right mind should be consuming under any circumstances. Ever.

Why, you ask?

The reasons are multifold:

  • All commercial canola and soybean oils, are partially hydrogenated/interesterified as part of their deodorization process.[1]
  • The extraction of oil from soybeans is commonly achieved using toxic hexane solvents, typically also at high heat.[2] [3]
  • Both these oils are lacking in any meaningful, quality essential fatty acid content, particularly since their plant-based omega-3’s (poorly utilized by humans anyway[4]) are typically hydrogenated out of the product, or become quickly rancid following extraction.
  • Even if it is “organic and expeller pressed” the canola seed is naturally abnormally low in vitamin E as compared to other seeds for some unknown reason.  Vitamin E is needed and usually naturally present to help stabilize and preserve the delicate polyunsaturated oils contained within seeds.  This unusually low E level in canola seeds both makes canola oil more prone to rancidity but also can both deplete and increase one’s internal need for vitamin E and lead to deficiencies of this important vitamin and enhanced free-radical damage and inflammation.[5]
  • Canola oil on its own is toxic enough that it can even be used as an effective pesticide[6], with all the accompanying cautionary warning labels (except on the stuff they expect you to consume).[7] Soybean oil, too has shown effectiveness as an insecticide and repellant.[8]

The labels on these products go on to explain “CAUTION: Avoid contact with skin or clothing. If you get it on yourself, you are directed to take off all your contaminated clothing, take a 15-20 minute shower to rinse the canola or soybean oil off your skin, and then “Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice.”

But hey—it’s great in egg salad! 

And let’s not forget the healthy benefits of soybean oil:

  • Canola oil (for these and so many other reasons) should absolutely never be used for cooking.  It simply lacks the stability and safe smoking point –particularly the non-hydrogenated form (you’re sort of screwed either way).   The higher ALA (alpha linolenic acid) content (coupled with inherently depressed vitamin E levels) of organic, expeller pressed canola oil cause it to readily rancidify when exposed to air or (God forbid) heat.
  • Canola and other highly refined soybean vegetable oils are highly inflammatory, due to their high omega-6 content (and proneness to rancidity). Inflammation, as you know, is at the root of most disease processes.  –That canola also contains more oleic acid than, say, sunflower oil does not mean it is anywhere near as high in oleic acid as olive oil, nor does it negate the presence of highly significant rancidity-prone polyunsaturate content.
  • The rape seed, from which canola was bred contained high levels of a fatty acid known as erucic acid which was originally believed to be the source of heart lesions found in rats fed rapeseed oil.[9]  In canola oil most of the erucic acid has been bred out, which scientists initially assumed would simply fix the problem.  Unfortunately, subsequent studies done with canola feeding experiments showed the same damaging results in experimental animals.  This may well be due to the depleting effects (some scientists believe) of canola on vitamin E and the damage sustained by exposure to rancid, mutagenic fats and a high level of inflammatory omega-6’s.
  • Canola and soy are among the most prevalent genetically modified crops (GMO) there is (canola was actually the very first genetically modified seed oil).
  • There are other, more traditionally used plant-based oils (like coconut oil, quality extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil) that have a long and comparatively safe track record.  As such there is literally no reason to ever consume canola oil.  That said, it is SO dirt cheap to produce that it is more economical to food manufacturers and deli owners.  This is why you see it everywhere.  What it says to me loud and clear when I find it being used is that a food manufacturer or restaurant/deli owner is more concerned with their bottom line than with the health of anyone consuming their product.  Its somewhat significant oleic acid content prompts industry to present canola as a “heart healthy alternative to olive oil” (even as it is extremely high in inflammatory omega-6’s and has shown evidence of increasing proneness to stroke).[10] [11] It is no such thing.  Ever. 


A Sad Word of Caution About Olive Oil…

Despite the inherent superiority of extra virgin olive oil as a culinary oil, however, it is a sad truth and an important caveat that olive oil is among the most commonly adulterated foods. Even supposedly “extra virgin” olive oil is often diluted with other less expensive oils, including soybean and canola. The University of California, Davis, conducted its own investigation back in 2010 revealing that 69 percent of imported and 10 percent of California-based olive oils are fake, failing to pass International Olive Council and Department of Agriculture guidelines for extra-virgin olive oil.[12] There are certainly class action suits underway for some of these crooked manufacturers[13], but unfortunately the marketplace is still overrun with these “fake” and frequently rancid olive oil products.

In order for an olive oil to truly be “extra virgin,” it must come from fresh, crushed olives, and not be cut with any other oils or additives. It also has to pass certain chemical tests, including sensory evaluations, taste profiles and smell. Of the five best selling imported extra virgin olive oils (Bertolli, Colavita, Filippo Berio, Star and Pompeian), 73 percent failed to meet the IOC sensory standards for extra virgin olive oils. The failure rate ranged from 94 percent to 54 percent, depending on the brand and panel. Eleven percent of the top-selling Italian brands failed both testing panels. Sensory defects indicate that the oil is either oxidized, of poor quality, or that the oil has been mixed with a cheaper, refined oil. Ugh. Yep—it’s one greasy business and consumers would do well to be extra cautious when choosing any cooking oil. By the way, Dr. Mary Enig personally cautioned me against one particular brand of cooking oils: Spectrum Naturals, due to what she said were frequent signs of adulteration across the board in her lab testing.

For quality extra virgin olive oil (the REAL stuff) I personally like Oliflix and Bariani brands. But never cook with any olive oil (except maybe on the lowest heat settings). Its smoking point is simply too low to avoid rapid peroxidization. It is far better and safer to use olive oil on your salads or poured over freshly steamed vegetables, instead. For cooking stick to quality animal fats (I love the Fatworks® brand) and/or coconut oil.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY? It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature! Avoid highly processed fats and oils like the plague they are—particularly soybean and canola oil. Always avoid over heating your fats, never use them if rancid and stick to organic and high quality natural foods that would have been recognizable as food to our primitive ancestors!  

~ Nora

Check out my latest program, Primal Power 52!


[1] Enig MG, “Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research,” 2nd Edition, Enig Associates, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, 1995.

[2] Eldridge AC. “Organic solvent treatment of soybeans and soybean fractions.” In Soybeans: Chemistry and Technology, Volume I, Proteins. Allan K. Smith and Sidney J. Circle, eds. Avi. (1972) 150

[3] Sipos, Andre, Szuhaj, Bernard F. Chapter 11, Soybean Oil. In YH Hui, ed. Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products, (NY Wiley-Interscience, Fifth Edition, 1995) Volume 2, 527-528.

[4] Gerster H. “Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)?” International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1998;68(3):159-73.

[5] Sauer FD, et al. “Additional vitamin E required in milk replacer diets that contain canola oil.” Nutrition Research. 1997;17(2):259-269

[6] http://www.rakuten.com/prod/lilly-miller-32-oz-worry-free-vegol-year-round-pesticidal-oil/227417731.html

[7] http://www.neudorffpro.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Labels/Vegol-19-11-12.pdf

[8] NSRL Bulletin, 2, 295. National Soybean Research Laboratory. University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign. www.nsrl.uluc.edu.

[9] Vles RO, et al. “Nutritional Evaluation of Low-Erucic-Acid Rapeseed Oils: Toxicological Aspects of Food Safety.” Archives of Toxicology, Supplement 1, 1978:23-32

[10] Ratnayake WMN, et al. “Influence of Sources of Dietary Oils on the Life Span of Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” Lipids, 2000;35(4):409-420.

[11] Wallsundera MN. “Vegetable Oils High in Phytosterols Make Erythrocytes Less Deformable and Shorten the Life Span of Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” Journal of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences. May, 2000;130(5):1166-78

[12] http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/research/files/report041211finalreduced.pdf

[13] http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/47263-bertolli-olive-oil-class-action-lawsuit-escapes-dismissal/

Beet Kvass – A Tasty Fat Digestion Promotor and Health Tonic!

Beet Kvass Shooters with whipped almond cheese at the Primal Fat Burner book launch event

Beet kvass is thought to have originated in the Ukraine. This is a cultured/fermented beverage occasionally sold in upscale natural foods stores and health food stores (typically at a premium) but can be easily made at home with a minimum of time or difficulty. Still, if you want to simply purchase some to try, Zukay makes an excellent one, along with numerous other delicious and innovative cultured beverages.

Although beets themselves are typically high in sugar (in fact, most table sugar is actually made with GMO sugar beets and not sugar cane), the fermentation process removes all or most of the sugar from the finished product and is otherwise used to feed the healthy probiotic bacteria in it that are generated the process. The result is a healthy, low sugar/no sugar probiotic beverage with all the inherent benefits associated with beets, themselves. It’s a win-win!

Beets (especially in the form of kvass, sans the sugar) have been purported and demonstrated to have a wide range of benefits.[1] Among them includes cardiovascular benefits (lowering systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points)[2], improved high intensity exercise tolerance and muscular contractile efficiency during exercise[3], positive cholesterol/lipoprotein modifying effects[4], hepato-protective effects[5], anti-inflammatory effects[6], numerous unique antioxidant benefits[7] [8], brain-boosting benefits[9], the enhancement of phase II hepatic detoxification[10], impressive anti-microbial effects[11] and even anti-cancer benefits[12] [13] [14] [15]. The cardiovascular, brain-boosting, some of the anti-inflammatory and exercise intensity tolerance benefits seem to be associated with enhanced nitrous oxide (NO) activity following its consumption. In one study, just 500 ml of beet juice generated a significant drop in blood pressure associated with increased plasma nitrate (NO) concentrations![16] It can also help improve methylation and reduce homocysteine levels. [17] Beetroot (Beta vulgais L.) has even shown promise in the neutralization of calcium oxalate (oxalic acid), thereby helping to inhibit the formation of oxalate crystals associated with kidney stones![18]

The presence of betaine in beets (found most concentrated at the part of the bulb that connects to the stems, at the very top—always include this part of the beet in your kvass recipe), has a few different health benefits. It can help improve digestion and the flow of digestive juices, it can help thin sluggish or congestive bile in a way that can improve its flow and function digesting fats[19], and it also has unique anti-inflammatory benefits.[20] A report from ‘World’s Healthiest Foods’ stated the following:

“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”

Beets are also considered an excellent blood tonic and it has been used to help cleanse the liver, promote regularity, improve systemic alkalization and even help treat kidney stones.

What’s not to love?

Beet kvass can be made in a couple of different ways (using a starter culture or simple “wild fermentation”, relying on naturally occurring bacteria from the soil and surrounding environment). Other ingredients could also technically be added. Purchasing a starter culture isn’t absolutely necessary, but there can be significant benefits gotten from a really good one. Dr. Joseph Mercola sells one in particular that has some rather exciting benefits. Called “Kinetic Culture”, this probiotic culture is specifically formulated to boost vitamin K2 production from bacterial fermentation![22] Using a culture can also promote a bit more piece of mind, ensuring that only beneficial bacteria end up in your kvass.

This beverage is then strained off from the beet and imbibed in small amounts as a daily tonic.

Serving Ideas:

  • Drink a small glass (just a few ounces) daily.
  • Add to salad dressing
  • Use as the base of a cold soup (such as my Medicinal/Probiotic Lithuanian Šaltibarščiai (cold beet) Kvass Soup)

My favorite beet kvass recipe is in my new book, Primal Fat Burner!

~ Nora

PS. Check out my NEW online program, Primal Power 52!


[1] Ninfali P, Angelino D. “Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris civla and rubra.” Fitoterapia. Volume 89, September 2013, Pages 188–199

[2] Coles LT, Clifton PM. “Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Nutr J. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106.

[3] Bailey SJ, Winyard P, Vanhatalo A, et al. “Dietary nitrite supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans.” J Appl Physiol. 2009 Oct;107(4):1144-55.

[4] Bobek P, Galbavý S, Mariássyová M. “The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats.” Nahrung. 2000 Jun;44(3):184-7.

[5] Krajka-Kuźniak V, Szaefer H, Ignatowicz E, et al. “Beetroot juice protects against N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver injury in rats.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Jun ;50(6):2027-33.

[6] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

[7] Xiaoling L, Wang Y, Zhang Z. “Radioprotective activity of betalains from red beets in mice exposed to gamma radiation.” Eur J Pharmacol. 2009 Aug 1;615(1-3):223-7.

[8] Song W, Derito CM, Liu MK et al. “Cellular antioxidant activity of common vegetables.” J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 9;58(11):6621-9. 2010.

[9] Wightman EL, Haskell-Ramsay CF, Thompson KG, et al. “Dietary nitrite modulates cerebral blood flow parameters and cognitive performance in humans: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation.” Physiol Behav. 2015 Oct 1;149:149-58. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.05.035.

[10] Lee CH, Wettasinghe M, Bolling BW et al. “Betalains, phase II enzyme-inducing components from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extracts.” Nutr Cancer. 2005;53(1):91-103.

[11] Prahoveanu E, Eşanu V, Anton G, Frunzulică S. “Prophylactic effect of a Beta vulgaris extract on experimental influenza infection in mice.” Virologie. 1986 Apr-Jun;37(2):121-3.

[12] Kaspadia GJ, Azuine MA, Rao GS, et al. “Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines.” Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Mar ;11(3):280-4.

[13] Szaefer H, Krajka-Kuźniak V, Ignatowicz E, et al. “Evaluation of the Effect of Beetroot Juice on DMBA-induced Damage in Liver and Mammary Gland of Female Sprague-Dawley Rats.” Phytother Res. 2013 Mar 1. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

[14] Kapadia GJ, Tokuda H, Konoshima T, Nishino H. “Chemoprevention of lung and skin cancer by Beta vulgaris (beet) root extract.” Cancer Lett. 2008 Jan 18;259(1):39-49. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

[15] Reddy MK, Alexander-Lindo RL and Nair MG. “Relative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, and human tumor cell proliferation by natural food colors.” J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 16;53(23):9268-73. 2005.

[16] Webb AJ, Patel N, Loukogeorgakis S, et al. “Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite.” Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90.

[17] Craig SAS. “Betaine in human nutrition.” Am J Clin Nutr September 2004
vol. 80 no. 3 539-549

[18] Saranya R, Geetha N. “Inhibition of calcium oxalate (caox) crystallization in vitro by the extract of beet root (beta vulgais l.).” International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014. Vol. 6, suppl. 2. ISSN-0975-1491

[19] ibid

[20] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

[21] Stronger S. “Beet Kvass: An easy fermented tonic you can make at home.” Health Impact News. November 15, 2015

[22] http://shop.mercola.com/product/kinetic-culture-30g-1-bottle,1275,0,0.htm

[23] http://shop.mercola.com/product/kinetic-culture-30g-1-bottle,1275,417,0.htm

Ötzi The Ice Man: Agriculture Didn’t Do Him Any Favors

5,300 years ago in what is now the Oetzal Alps between Austria and Italy, a man that researchers today decided to name “Ötzi” lived and also met an untimely and suspicious death.  His frozen and mummified body was discovered at nearly 11,000 feet of altitude melting from glacial ice in 1991 by a pair of German hikers.  Archaeologists considered this the discovery of the century—an intact, frozen semi-prehistoric man.  His body and possessions were almost perfectly preserved.  He was about 46 years of age, 5’2” (fairly average height for his day) and evidently a person of some higher status due to the quality of his possessions.  His likeliest cause of death, as forensic researchers determined, was actually murder…but his health was anything but stellar the day he died.

Even though he lived several thousand years ago, Ötzi was already quite clearly a neolithic (agricultural era) human, even as he may have also hunted for some of his food along the way.  Let’s just say that agriculture didn’t do Ötzi any favors.  For starters, he apparently suffered severe tooth decay and even had the grains that helped cause that still stuck in his teeth when they discovered his body.  Along with lousy oral health he also showed signs of suffering arteriosclerosis and advanced arthritis.  He may be portrayed by the media as a prehistoric human, but his state of health was decidedly forged by the dietary pitfalls of an agricultural-based society.  According to his stomach contents, bread was part of his last meal.  Despite whatever hunting and gathering he may have done along the way he clearly wasn’t “Paleo” in many of his dietary choices.  He was basically modern enough to have suffered some of the earliest diseases of modern civilization.  In short, Ötzi was an agriculturally-influenced, medical mess.

His shorter stature and ill health was actually typical of many post-agricultural societies.  Early agriculturalists commonly suffered mineral deficiency-associated diseases like rickets, stunted growth and bone mineral disorders. Osteoporosis, skeletal abnormalities, malnutrition, birth defects, dental malocclusion and degenerative disease also became much more commonplace once we adopted the widespread consumption of grains (yes–including whole grains).  Cereal-based diets also commonly led to numerous other vitamin and mineral deficiencies not typically shared by their more Stone Age ancestors; such as pellagra, scurvy, beriberi, as well as vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiencies (the minerals contained in grains are actually poorly available to us, if at all, due to the presence of a substance known as phytic acidsomething never mentioned by proponents of the government “food pyramids”, or the commercial purveyors of supposedly “healthy whole grains”).  According to the researchers analysis, Ötzi’s dental problems show the results of switching from a strictly hunter-gatherer to an agricultural one.

Grain consumption has been linked with allergies, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders (now numbering in excess of 100 that have been identified thus far, and 40 additional diseases thought to have an autoimmune component), numerous cancers, pancreatic disorders, mineral deficiencies, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, celiac disease, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia’s, dementia, degenerative diseases of the brain and central nervous system, peripheral neuropathies of axonal or demyelinating types, and myopathies as well as autism and schizophrenia, to name a few of our more common modern day health-related issues.

Contrast this with the primary cause of death in more Stone Age hunter-gatherers:  accident and infection.  That’s about it.  As long as we survived that, we stood pretty good odds of making it to old age without the chronic degenerative diseases that plague the elderly and not so elderly today.  Fast-forwarding to today— as we continue to follow this slippery slope of embracing products and byproducts of Monoculture Agriculture and the ever-powerful Food Industry, according to new findings, people today are being diagnosed with disease 33 percent (15 years) faster than their grandparents.  Age 30 has become the new 45 in reference to on-setting disease.  This is all relatively new—and NOT because we suddenly began consuming more animal-based foods or fats (which our ancestors have eaten consistently for close to 3 million years)!

Certain popular books today encourage those of us that have been smart enough to shed non-essential and highly problematic grains from our diet, to actually bring wheat back into our diets again.  Really?  Do we really want this (even as it may be telling some folks what they want to hear)?  So much is wrong with this idea that it isn’t even funny….but I’ll save the rest for another article.

Even as an agricultural lifestyle allowed us to live in better protected, safer and controlled environments, an agricultural lifestyle wasn’t exactly our fast track to optimal health and longevity.  Even as human populations exploded (ultimately leading to planetary overpopulation issues we face today), life expectancy actually declined by half—relative to our supposedly short-lived Paleolithic forebears–early on into the agricultural revolution.  In fact, between the Neolithic Revolution and the late 18th century human life expectancy never exceeded roughly 25 years! What basically improved longevity in more modern times sure as heck wasn’t our back-breaking, nutrition- and health-compromising agricultural lifestyle, but instead (apart from protection from the elements and predators) better technology, sanitation, and modern economic growth.

When researchers compared the health of farmers versus hunter-gatherers they found that the farmers suffered much higher rates of infection due to the concentration of stationary human populations in farming communities, much poorer nutrition due to their increased cereal grain intake and reduced meat/fat intake and problems with mineral absorption due to the effects of the cereal-based diet (Cohen, 1989).  Neolithic farmers were shorter, had many more health-related issues and a lower life expectancy relative to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.   We also became much more vulnerable to famine; not to mention the oppression and control (and the other delightful things) that come with concentrated population centers and opportunistic ruling class hierarchies, not the least of which has been an unending and unprecidented pattern of full scale wars.

Agriculture also served to shift our macronutrient content from a focus on dietary fat and protein to a diet based far more upon carbohydrate intake.  The impact on human health in this regard has not been trivial.  Only in modern times, for instance, have we humans developed an emergency need to lower blood sugar through the unnaturally chronic and metabolically dysregulating release of insulin.  We were never designed to tolerate being marinated in a caustic and inflammatory mix of glucose (and other sugars) and insulin 24/7.  This is a modern-day development and one we need to rethink if we are ever to reclaim our primal birthright as a species of foundational health.

Agriculture cost us as a species, big time.  We’ve spent the last 500 generations—or less, less than 0.4% of our evolutionary history —after we spent more than 100,000 generations (99.9+%) on a mostly meat and fat diet—eating a diet that is demonstrably and increasingly unnatural to our species.  Pre-agricultural paleolithic hunters and gatherers derived most of their calories from about 100-200 different species of wild animals (meat and fat being as much as 90% of their dietary economy)…and to a lesser degree fibrous vegetables, greens and nuts/fruits.

Suddenly, all of about 17 species of plants today, most of which are entirely new to the human diet—are providing 90 percent of the world’s food supply.  That’s an insanely huge flip-flop, and it has NOT been a healthy one. The toll this has taken upon our health, not to mention the health of the planetary environment is immeasurable and tragic.

The energy and nutrient value of starch-based foods we have come to rely upon in modern times are considerably inferior to animal foods, even after cooking.  Sugar-based foods in particular have led to an epidemic of metabolic disorders, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and a huge variety of sugar-hungry cancers.

And these foods aren’t just problematic in today’s world.  They have been problematic from the beginning of their widespread consumption. They were literally never the cornerstone of optimal health.

Grains and legumes, much less refined carbohydrates weren’t necessarily all to blame for poor health related to starch consumption in pre- (and post-) agricultural humans.  An interesting study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2014 revealing that pre-agricultural starchy carbohydrate consumption led to ill health and dental disease in prehistoric hunter-gatherers from time to time, as well.  In other words, we can’t blame it all on farming.  The research by a team from Oxford University, the Natural History Museum, London, and the National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage (INSAP) in Morocco actually showed that widespread tooth decay occurred in a hunter-gathering society in Morocco several thousand years before the dawn of agriculture.  The team analyzed 52 sets of adult teeth from hunter-gatherer skeletons found in Taforalt in Morocco, dating between 15,000 and 13,700 years ago. Unexpectedly, they found evidence of decay and abscesses in more than half of the surviving teeth, with only three skeletons showing no signs of cavities.  Excavations revealed evidence of the systematic harvesting and processing of wild foods, including sweet acorns, pine nuts and land snails.  The guilty food?  Sweet (starchy) acorns, apparently.  In other words, even naturally occurring starch in its whole food, wild state wasn’t an optimal food for our ancestors, either.

Dental abnormality such as malocclusion and dental crowding (attractive as they are) first became common among the world’s earliest farmers some 12,000 years ago in Southwest Asia, according to findings published (04 Feb 2015) in the journal PLoS ONE.  Pre-agricultural, paleolithic hunter-gatherers, on the other hand had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding demonstrated in any research to date.  In a Science Daily article illuminating highlights of this PLOS ONE study, interviews with the research scientists behind the study revealed that, “Our analysis shows that the lower jaws of the world’s earliest farmers in the Levant, are not simply smaller versions of those of the predecessor hunter-gatherers, but that the lower jaw underwent a complex series of shape changes commensurate with the transition to agriculture,” says Professor Ron Pinhasi from the School of Archaeology and Earth Institute, University College Dublin, the lead author on the study.

“Our findings show that the hunter gatherer populations have an almost “perfect harmony” between their lower jaws and teeth,” he explains. “But this harmony begins to fade when you examine the lower jaws and teeth of the earliest farmers.”

In the case of hunter-gatherers, the scientists from University College Dublin, Israel Antiquity Authority, and the State University of New York, Buffalo, found a correlation between inter-individual jawbones and dental distances, suggesting an almost “perfect” state of equilibrium between the two. While in the case of semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and farming groups, they found no such correlation, suggesting that the harmony between the teeth and the jawbone was disrupted with the shift towards agricultural practices and sedentism in the region. This, the international team of scientists say, may be linked to the dietary changes among the different populations.

The diet of the hunter-gatherer was based on “hard” foods like wild uncooked vegetables and meat, while the staple diet of the sedentary farmer is based on “soft” cooked or processed foods like cereals and legumes. With soft cooked foods there is less of a requirement for chewing which in turn lessens the size of the jaws but without a corresponding reduction in the dimensions of the teeth, there is no adequate space in the jaws and this often results in malocclusion and dental crowding.

The link between chewing, diet, and related dental wear patterns is well known in the scientific literature. Today, malocclusion and dental crowding affects around one in five people in modern-world populations. The condition has been described as the “malady of civilization.”

In short, we humans were fundamentally designed by our evolutionary selective pressures and earliest dietary preferences to be fat-heads, not potato-heads (or acorn-heads), much less grain-brains.  

Ketones, the basic energy units of fat, along with free fatty acids are an extremely abundant, reliable, stable and steady source of fuel, even in the absence of regular meals.  Furthermore, brain cells (and delicate brain tissue) are more vulnerable than just about any other tissue to the ravages of glycation and the oxidation or free radical activity that glucose and glycation attracts.  The brain actually prefers ketones (or, more specifically, BOHB) to glucose as it’s primary source of fuel (from the standpoint of being non-damaging, as well as being a “superfuel”, yielding even more ATP than either glucose or free fatty acids).  Interestingly, acetoacetate (another form of ketone body) is the preferred source of energy in our heart muscle and renal cortex… but your brain can also use that if it needs to, and it adds needed balance to BOHB in those who may be seizure-prone.  Nature was beyond wise to design us this way, but unfortunately most people today fail to take advantage of this incredibly elegant and efficient design, instead diverting away from the energy we were mostly meant to rely upon and forcing an unnatural and enslaving dependence upon carbohydrates as a primary source of fuel.

Think about what we’ve been mostly eating for the last 10,000 years while our brains have been progressively shrinking and our collective health increasingly deteriorating…

The most obvious and far-reaching dietary change during the last 10,000 years is, of course, the enormous drop in consumption of high-energy, fat-rich foods of animal origin which formed easily 90% of our diet in Paleolithic times, to as little as 10% today, coupled with a large rise in less energy-dense grain consumption. This switch—this literal flip-flop to a carbohydrate-based diet embraced by the corporately controlled USDA Food Pyramid (and other nearly identical guidelines offered in Europe/UK and Australia/New Zealand) is far from optimal and far from benign in its effects.

In fact, more recently, there has been a long overdue, detailed analysis of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, which has been measuring dietary trends, caloric consumption and the body heights and weights of americans for nearly 50 years.  What it revealed is both shocking and telling:

It turns out that Americans HAVE been following the rules and taking the mainstream government guidelines to heart in their dietary choices (all the while the health of the public has been deteriorating).   –And even more shockingly,  It seems the more obediently we have followed the rules, the sicker and more obese we have become as a society.  Trading animal source foods for carbs and animal fats for vegetable oils has effectively pushed the collective health of Americans (and others following similar guidelines the world over) to the brink of collapse.

It’s well past time we take the USDA Food Pyramid and turn it upside down.  I think even Ötzi would agree.


(Check out my new weekly online program: Primal Power 52)


1 Rollo, F.U. et al., “Ötzi’s last meals: DNA analysis of the intestinal content of the Neolithic glacier mummy from the Alps.” PNAS October 1 vol 99 no 99 (2002)

2 L Hallberg, et al. “Phytates and the inhibitory effect of bran on iron absorption in man.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1987; 45(5): 988.

3 Seiler R, Spielman AI, Zink A, Rühli, F. “Oral pathologies of the Neolithic Iceman, c. 3,300 BC”. European Journal of Oral Sciences (2013) 1-5

4 http://www.livescience.com/28608-otzi-iceman-had-bad-teeth.html

5  Cordain, L. Cereal grains: humanity’s double-edged sword.  World Rev Nutr Diet. 1999; 84:19-73.

6 Hulsegge G, Susan H, Picavet J , et al. Today’s adult generations are less healthy than their predecessors: generation shifts in metabolic risk factors: the Doetinchem Cohort Study. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Published online April 10 2013  (http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/04/08/2047487313485512.abstract)

7 Angel JL. Health as a factor in the changes from hunting to developed farming in the eastern Mediterranean. In: Cohen MN, Armelagos GJ, editors. Paleopathology at the origins of agriculture. New York: Academic Press, 1984:51–73

8 Fogel RW. The fourth great awakening and the future of egalitarianism. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 2000:48,137–75.) and (Kuznets S. Modern economic growth: rate, structure, and spread. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1966:8–16.

9 Acsa’di, G.Y., and J. Nemeskeri, (1970), History of Human Life Span and Mortality, (Akademiai Kiado, Budapest).

10 Cohen M. N.,(1989),Health and the Rise of Civilization (Yale Uni. Press: New Haven).

11 Diamond, J. (1997),.Guns,Germs,andSteel:TheFatesofHumanSocieties.(Norton, New York).

12  Wesidorf, J. L. (2006) “From Foraging to Farming: Explaining the Neolithic Revolution,”Journal of Economic Surveys,19, 561-586

13 Humphrey LT, De Groote, I, Morales J, Barton N, Collcutt S, Bronk Ramsey C, Bouzouggar A. “Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco.“Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1318176111

14 Pinhasi R, Eshed V, von Cramon-Taubadel N.  “Incongruity between Affinity Patterns Based on Mandibular and Lower Dental Dimensions following the Transition to Agriculture in the Near East, Anatolia and Europe.” PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (2): e0117301 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117301

15 Malocclusion and dental crowding arose 12,000 years ago with earliest farmers.” Science Daily.  February 4, 2015.

16 Cahill GF Jr, Veech RL. “Ketoacids? Good medicine?” Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2003;114:149-61; discussion 162-3

17 John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer and Jeremy Berg. Biochemistry 7th Edition. W. H. Freeman; Seventh Edition edition (December 24, 2010), Chapter 22 (Fatty Acid Metabolism).

18  Eaton, S Boyd, Eaton, Stanley B III. Evolution, diet and health. Presented in association with the scientific session, Origins and Evolution of Human Diet. 14th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1998.

19 Cohen E, Cragg M, deFonseka J, et al. “Statistical review of US macronutrient consumption data, 1965-2011: Americans have been following dietary guidelines, coincident with the rise in obesity.”  Nutrition J. 2015. 31: 727-732.

Primal Fat Burner Event Thanks

FIRST OF ALL:  I just wanted to send out an extra special thank you to those of you who attended my book release event and charity gala here in Portland this last Saturday. You braved the elements and showed up dressed fabulously! It was really clear that everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and your feedback has been glowing. It was an amazing evening. I cannot thank you enough for being there!

I also want to thank those of you who may not have actually attended, but who contributed generously to the success of the event through monetary donations. I am deeply grateful.

Click to see ALL of the official event photos!

A word to all of my sponsors:  

First and foremost, I want to thank John Wood of US Wellness Meats for supplying such extraordinary quality meat, broth and other food items to the dinner. Your meat (etc) was a huge hit and made the evening extra extraordinary! I hope everyone remembers this the next time they are interested in ordering 100% grass fed and finished meat they can trust for its quality and excellence. See www.grasslandbeef.com.

I also want to thank Dry Farm Wines and Tim White for providing such an exquisite wine selection during the dinner, and for providing full bottles of your amazing wine to all who attended. You have completely won me over! I hope everyone at the event will consider subscribing to their monthly membership so that they will never be without the best and most healthful quality wine for any special occasion.

The Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) and Eric Bowman (NTA’s executive Director) has my undying gratitude for exclusively sponsoring hardcover copies of my new book, Primal Fat Burner to each and every attendee at this event! I am hopeful that many of the attendees and others reading this that are not already NTA graduates will consider your outstanding nutritional certification program for their nutritional education needs and aspirations here throughout the US, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand (see www.nutritionaltherapy.com and http://www.ntaaustralia.com.au/, respectively). Some classes are also available now in Asia and Europe. NTA–Yours is the only certification program I am aware of that is not driven by the mainstream (corporately influenced), outdated, tired/failed and misinformed US dietary guidelines. Kudos to you all for your educational integrity, and a heartfelt thank you for your ongoing support of my work!

A heartfelt THANKS to Walleye Direct for 1) making truly clean, sustainably caught (while also supporting indigenous fisherman) and simply delicious fresh fish available to conscientious consumers through your online store (http://www.walleyedirect.com/)  2) generously supplying my event with your wonderful fish. Other than Ora King salmon from New Zealand (which is far more expensive and harder to obtain), your beautiful fish is literally the only seafood from the northern hemisphere I am at all comfortable recommending to anyone anymore. And your walleye is some of the best walleye I have ever eaten. Coming from a lifelong Minnesotan, that’s saying something! 

A sincere THANK YOU to Vivacity Fine Spirits for generously providing such uniquely high quality/conscientious spirits and cocktails for this event. Your unique drink recipes were an absolute hit!

I want to thank David Cole and Mieke Schierer of Fatworks for their amazingly generous donation of the world’s best quality cooking fats (rich in multiple beneficial fat soluble nutrients and essential fatty acids unique to 100% grass-fed/pastured sources) that money can buy for the amazing dinner we all enjoyed, and for their effort to supply every single attendee with a swag sample of the most extraordinary cooking fat of all time: goose fat. Unfortunately, the goose fat sample delivery to the event was held up by Portland’s freak “snowpocalypse”… but I encourage everyone of you to support this business and make Fatworks your exclusive stop for animal cooking fats that you can absolutely 100% trust for their quality and integrity. Other imitation brands of animal cooking fat have emerged in the marketplace more recently and have attempted to misleadingly market their deceptively inferior products at a seemingly lower price. DO NOT be fooled by lesser quality imitations and wannabe’s (particularly those owned and marketed by multinational food corporations). Fatworks is THE REAL DEAL. It is important that we all support small companies like this one that are working so meticulously and painstakingly hard on behalf your health and on behalf of sustainability to do the right thing! This business has impeccable integrity and has absolutely earned my eternal loyalty.

Sandeep Agarwal—what can I say? Your nourishing and delectable 100% organic, pasture-fed and finished Cultured Ghee and (cultured) Turmeric Superghee (by Pure Indian Foods) are literally the only dairy products left in my diet. Thank you for so generously supplying your wonderful product to the wonderful dinner during my event. Your commitment to integrity and to meticulous testing, and your commitment to the health and welfare of your customers may just be second to none. I am careful to promote your Cultured Ghee products over anyone/everyone else’s for its quality, taste and above all, its safety for those of us suffering from an immune reactivity to dairy products. And your product supplies such a rich plethora of key fat-soluble nutrients (butyric acid for colon health and anti-cancer benefits, vitamin A, D3, beta carotene, and especially vitamin K2…plus fat-burning and anti-cancer CLA and so much more). Kudos to you for setting an example every company in the world should be following. No one else’s ghee could ever hold a candle to yours!

Another special thank you to Steve Tinsky of Wild Mountain Paleo. Your awesome (and beautiful customized) swag and support are deeply appreciated. Your added help in supplying coconut wraps for dining attendees at my event at the last minute helped save the day!  Wild Mountain Paleo is unique among all other online “Paleo friendly” food stores due to your unwavering integrity and special attention to making sure the health of your customers are safeguarded from GMO’s, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other unacceptable “nasties”.  For those of you interested in items at Steve’s store that I personally endorse, please check out the following link: https://www.wildmountainpaleo.com/productlistview?menu_subnav=51?AFRID=39816.

I additionally want to thank the following persons and/or businesses for making this event such a resounding success:

Allan Savory of www.savory.global/ is one of my great living heroes in this world and an inspiration to all who care about the planet and sustainable food production. Allan’s visual live presence and spoken words at this event elevated us all and left even those already familiar with his work filled with renewed inspiration for furthering the cause. I am forever grateful for his work and his friendship.

Crystal Bauer Feldman (event planner) – OMG Crystal… this event would never have even happened were it not for your creative brilliance, tenacity and your unwavering commitment to making this extraordinary evening a total success. I will be forever and ever grateful to you for absolutely everything.

Tyler Boggs of Heart2Heart Farms gave an inspirational talk about the extraordinary possibilities and realities of making REAL food available to all persons and families that need it, regardless of economic status. Tyler also supported my event in a variety of other ways that I will always be forever grateful to him for. Please check out: www.heart2heartfarms.com/

Rod Neswick (artist) supplied and graced this event with his exquisite and uniquely primal sculptures, all of which were (and many of which are still) for sale. I also want to thank Rod for personally attending the event. Anyone out there seeking to adorn their favorite space with a primal masterpiece should go to http://rodneswicksculptor.wixsite.com/mycreations for more information.

Chef Chris Bailey and his culinary troupe-par-excellence  Given the nature of my work, quality food and food preparation was in many ways bound to be the star of the show. Chris—your exceptional culinary talent and brilliance graced the plates and palates of every attendee and honored me with its perfection. I was deeply impressed by your professionalism, talent and extraordinary cuisine which you were so graciously willing to adapt from my own recipes.

Dr. Kaayla Daniel, Annie Dru and Alanna Woods –  I want to add a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU to my fellow board members and cherished friends from the Hunt Gather Grow Foundation for flying in for this event, for volunteering your help along the way, and for joining me on stage to help share our vision for a unified, inclusive and democratically run REAL FOOD MOVEMENT!  Great talk, Kaayla!

Melissa Toledo was the exceptional and talented photographer for my event. A shout out and heartfelt thanks to Melissa for braving the wintry elements so that we could all enjoy the memory of this event in pictures for years to come!

List of swag bag sponsors:

Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) – www.nutritionaltherapy.com

Wild Mountain Paleo – www.wildmountainpaleo.com

Bulletproof – www.bulletproof.com

Block & Board – www.blockandboardpdx.com

Your Energy Systems/Readi-Sorb – http://readisorb.com/  They make THE finest ever liposomal glutathione and sublingual methylcobalamin B12 supplement!

Vivacity Fine Spirits – www.vivacityspirits.com/

Walkabout Health Products – www.walkabouthealthproducts.com – Liz and Will, you guys (and your emu oil products) are simply THE BEST!!!

Dry Farm Wines – www.dryfarmwines.com/

Natural Grocers – www.naturalgrocers.com/

Fatworks – www.fatworksfoods.com

Pure Indian Foods – www.pureindianfoods.com/

Naomi Aldort, Author – www.aldort.com/

Paleo Magazine – www.paleomagazine.com

Hunt Gather Grow Foundation – www.huntgathergrowfoundation.com/

Peter Michael Bauer (Re-Wild Portland) – www.urbanscout.org/

Cultures for Health – http://www.culturesforhealth.com (offer for all attendees: 20% off any product from their website until 3/31/17 – use code PRIMAL)

List of businesses/people donating items for charity auction:

Float Shoppe – www.floatshoppe.com/

Paleo Magazine – www.paleomagazine.com

Bulletproof – www.bulletproof.com

Peter Michael Bauer (Re-Wild Portland) – www.urbanscout.org/

Brooklyn House Restaurant – www.brooklynhouserestaurant.com/

Daniel Vitalis (Surthrival) – www.surthrival.com/

Heart 2 Heart Farms – www.heart2heartfarms.com/

Special Thanks to:

Tongue & Groove Band – Thanks for your primally ethereal and sublime sounds! https://www.facebook.com/tagroove/

Botanica Floral Design (plant arrangements) – http://botanicafloralpdx.com/

Ecotrust (venue) – www.ecotrust.org

Hannah Herman  (Design Fli) – graphic design invitation http://www.designfli.net

Donald Stojack – Head of marketing and live stream support (live stream recording coming soon!)

Hannalies Bosman – Marketing and live stream support

State of Sound (Christopher “Mittens” Nelson) – AV excellence –www.stateofsoundinc.com

Durga Fuller – Decor/panels/paintings (like wow!)

Melissa Toledo (photographer) – http://www.melissatoledo.com

List of Intrepid Volunteers:

Kaayla Daniel

Alanna Woods

Dana Smith

Jonathan Hoffman

Tracy Bosnian

Claudia Knauer

List of our generous financial donors:

Richard Mestayer

NTA Australia

Mary Toebbe

Alice Clarke

Judy Belk (Center for Communication & Learning Skills)

Rod and Keri Trujillo

Maria Townsend

Sarah Passick

Alice Clarke

Lauren Noel, ND

Gail Melnick

Lawrence Ozenberger

Elizabeth Rush

George Greenwald

Maryann Arellano

Lynn Brooks

If there is anybody that I failed to mention, I am truly sorry! (please let me know)



PS. Primal Fat Burner was released on January 24th. If you could do me a BIG favor and promote my book on your social media channels I would be eternally grateful. Let’s get the word out there! Plus, if you could also go to amazon.com (and/or other online retailers) and give a review, I would be forever in your debt! THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!



If you know of anyone who would still like to donate, please send them to this LINK. Thank you!

(Check out my new weekly online program: Primal Power 52)

Book Launch Live Stream Info

Here is the link to watch the Primal Fat Burner Book Launch Event and Charity Gala LIVE STREAM event:



You will need to REGISTER to get your unique link PRIOR to the event.

Once the event begins, you will not be able to join the LIVE STREAM event!

Please keep your registration confirmation email as your “ticket” to get into the LIVE STREAM event. It will be from webinarinfo@webinarjam.net.

The LIVE STREAM event in Portland Oregon USA will start Saturday January 14th at 7 PM PST. (ending at 10 PM PST)

If you are in Sydney NSW Australia, the LIVE STREAM event will start Sunday January 15th at 2 PM.

(If you’re not sure of the time difference between Portland Oregon and your location, just go to google.com and type in the search bar “if it’s 7pm in Portland OR what time is it in Sydney Australia” – substitute your city and state/country in place of Sydney Australia)

Also, there is a Time Zone Converter link on the LIVE STREAM registration page.

Note: If you cannot get logged into the LIVE STREAM event or experience any technical difficulties, please keep in mind that our support staff will be at the actual event and might not be able to help you. We do plan to record the LIVE STREAM event and post it at a later date. Stay tuned…

If you are able, please donate to help cover the cost of the LIVE STREAMING this EPIC event: https://www.paypal.me/NoraGedgaudas

Thank you so much for your support!

~ Nora

PS. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends, co-workers, family and tribe!

PSS. We still have a few tickets available for the event if you know anyone who still wants one. Keep in mind they are going fast! Tickets can be purchased here.

Pre-order Primal Fat Burner

15 Reasons to Attend the Primal Fat Burner Book Release Event

15 Reasons to Attend the Primal Fat Burner Book Release Event:

    1. Awesome and almost overflowing, amazingly generous, quality swag
    2. A gorgeous venue and jaw-dropping, magical ambience unlike any other that will need to be seen and experienced to be believed
    3. A coming together of community and common purpose toward supporting a better, healthier and more sustainable world
    4. Free autographed hardcover copies of my new book, Primal Fat Burner as a gift for each attendee at least 10-days in advance of its official international release in stores
    5. A live cameo appearance and discussion with famed international visionary Allan Savory; head of the famed Savory Institute/Savory Global (yeah…pinch me)
    6. A live presentation and evening long presence of several board members of the Hunt Gather Grow Foundation, with a special appearance by Dr. Kaayla Daniel— Hunt Gather Grow Foundation co-president and board member, research scientist and former vice president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of the acclaimed and revolutionary Whole Soy Story, as well as the uniquely authoritative and best-selling new book, Nourishing Broth
    7. A to-die-for gourmet six-course meal will be provided, as prepared by world-class chef, Chris Bailey (who will be creatively embellishing upon many of my own recipes from the book)
    8. Dry Farm Wines— the world’s healthiest and most thoroughly lab tested (and carb/additive-free) wines verified for their purity, quality and exceptional taste will be paired with each course of the meal. Each attendee will be generously gifted an entire bottle of their wine to take home!
    9. Ambient and inspirational, instrumental music will be supplied by a local ensemble of professional musicians, Tongue and Groove, that celebrates the primal nature of the event
    10. Food safety. Every precaution has been taken to safeguard the quality of the food and beverages provided—all from 100% organic, grass-fed/finished sources of ingredients–and the absence of the most common known dietary antigens, including gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs. I promise, you will never miss them. Pure Indian Foods brand Turmeric SuperGhee will be added to certain courses; but this particular product has been uniquely lab-verified as containing undetectable levels of potentially antigenic dairy proteins
    11. Artistic displays of extraordinary and unique quality carvings by local Portland artist, Rod Neswick
    12. All taking place within the beautiful and unique, historic EcoTrust building accessibly located in NW downtown Portland
    13. I will briefly talk and share with all of you about what led me to write my book and will be available throughout the evening to share with all of you attending
    14. Incredibly, there are even more as yet unannounced surprises that await your discovery!! (Yep—I’m holding back on revealing everything up-front!)
    15. But maybe the best reason to attend of all:  You will feel utterly awestruck by this one-of-a-kind experience, inspired by the company of other extraordinary people sharing this experience with you and you will leave the event knowing that you are truly a part of something much greater than yourself and that you have found a wonderful community that you will feel a part of long after the evening is over.

Get your tickets as soon as possible—they are going fast (and attendance is exclusively limited!)

I can’t wait to see you there!


~ Nora

PS. If you can’t make it to the event, please donate to support the cause. Thank you!

Order Today!

“Nora Gedgaudas deftly describes the link between what we eat and what we become. Millions of years of human evolution made us omnivores with well-muscled bodies and extraordinary minds that could not have developed without a diet rich in fat, including saturated fat! Read this book and you’ll understand why much maligned animal fat is so important to your health and why it is critical that it come from animals grazing on healthy land (and not confined to feedlots). I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”

                                ~ Allan Savory, President of the international Savory Institute


Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition

A recent exposé in the New York Times[1] revealed massive and pervasive fraud and collusion between the sugar industry and certain medical authorities in the 1960’s designed to erroneously promote saturated fat as the culprit behind heart disease. Effectively diverting attention from the real source of the problem (the increasing consumption of dietary sugar), the food industry conspired with key authorities within the medical establishment to serve their own best interests at the expense of public health.  Historic documents showed that they were intentionally concealing the fact that sugar, instead of fat, was knowingly to blame.  These historic documents were discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and were recently published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine this year.  The researchers who evaluated the data concluded that, “Together with other recent analyses of sugar industry documents, our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960’s and 1970’s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD [coronary heart disease].”[2]  In the NY Times piece, one of the study’s authors, Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at The University of California San Francisco was quoted as saying, “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades.”  The fact is that government dietary policies throughout the industrialized world are still being influenced by this fraud. It is far from over.

By the way…am I the only one who thinks this should qualify as a prosecutable offense?

The fact that the criminal behavior of the sugar industry executives concealing the even then known dangers of their own products, which have resulted in the deaths of countless millions since, has now finally been exposed in no way implies that the global mainstream medical or dietetic establishment is any wiser or even inclined to alter their stale and disproven dietary recommendations. The fact that this is all coming out now leads many to complacently believe that such nefarious scandals and clandestine activities are somehow a thing of the past.  A mere historic footnote, as it were.

Au contraire.

The New York Times article went on to say that, “Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.”  Indeed… and not only at the expense of public health, but also at the expense of certain conscientious medical and nutritional practitioners, as well.   Those still wed to an antiquated nutritional paradigm or to multinational corporate profiteering are pulling out the stops these days to make an example of anyone daring to question the old, shaky, crooked (and still profitable) status quo.

In fact, any medical practitioner deviating from the traditional (low-fat, ‘carbophilic’ dietary recommendation-based) party line on this matter may still— to this very day– be subject to extreme harassment, ridicule, investigation, intimidation, discipline, loss of employment, and even loss of licensure.  We all-too often forget that medicine basically ceased to be an altruistic profession it once was (then inspired by the honorable dictates of the Hippocratic oath and with the best interests of patients in mind) close to a century ago, and particularly after World War II.  It has since burgeoned into a predominantly profit-based, full-fledged Industry, driven by the interests of mainly pharmaceutical cartels motivated by one primary equation:

Sickness (and fabricated sickness) = BIG profits.

The long-term reciprocal economic relationship between multinational industry interests of all kinds (including the food industry, of course) and the medical industry are well known and well documented. The pharmacologically based hegemony of mainstream medicine dominates and controls the nation’s definitions of so-called “healthcare” while handsomely profiting from disease management instead.  After all, a patient cured (or prevented from getting disease in the first place) is a customer lost. Does it really matter WHO pays for our so-called healthcare today (government programs or insurance companies) in a corrupt and broken system where illness = profitability? Mind you, emergency medicine is a genuinely lifesaving and often-heroic branch of western medicine. But when it comes to chronic or even terminal conditions, much less psychiatric care, where is the institutional incentive to truly heal anything? And even among caring physicians with a genuine passion for helping their patients, having both a conscience and a clear awareness of the problem (a number of whom I consider friends and greatly admire), their caring hands are repeatedly tied by so-called established “standards of care” and the profit-based dictates of the institutions through which they may be employed. They are forever under threat of investigation or worse should they deviate from the party line. I even know those who ultimately elected to leave the mainstream medical profession in futility and disgust.

Even peer-reviewed research these days is becoming a hall of mirrors. If there is major pharmacologic profit to be made, then the questionability of published research results begins to correspondingly mushroom. The all-too common phenomenon of industry-sourced, ghost-written “scientific” articles supporting various profit-driven motives within peer-reviewed journals has been a well exposed scandal in recent years, and has not remotely gone away simply because such growing and obvious improprieties were exposed to the light of day.[3]


The fact is that metabolic diseases, in general, have literally skyrocketed over the last century with the promotion of carbohydrate-based foods/diets and government dietary guidelines promoting low-fat diets. The first comprehensive analysis of the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data documented how macronutrient consumption patterns and the weight and body mass index in the US adult population have shifted since the 1960’s.  Here’s what the analysis of NHANES data had to say in the resulting peer reviewed journal analysis:  “Americans in general have been following the nutrition advice that the American Heart Association and the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have been issuing for more than 40 years: Consumption of fats has dropped from 45% to 34% with a corresponding increase in carbohydrate consumption from 39% to 51% of total caloric intake. In addition, from 1971 to 2011, average weight and body mass index have increased dramatically, with the percentage of overweight or obese Americans increasing from 42% in 1971 to 66% in 2011.”  And their conclusions based on all the available data?  “Since 1971, the shift in macronutrient share from fat to carbohydrate is primarily due to an increase in absolute consumption of carbohydrate as opposed to a change in total fat consumption. General adherence to recommendations to reduce fat consumption has coincided with a substantial increase in obesity.” [4]  I write about some of this in my upcoming new book, Primal Fat Burner.

Heart disease is but one metabolic disease on the long list of high carbohydrate-based dietary casualties.   When it comes to type II diabetes, it is abundantly clear that this is a disease caused primarily by diet and evidence has repeatedly shown that diet is, in fact, the best and only true means of successfully managing and even reversing it.  In fact, many of the most common medications used to treat diabetic conditions (including insulin and other medications used to enhance its activity) have demonstrated an overwhelming tendency to only deepen the problem over time and shorten lives. Erroneously treated as a “disease of blood sugar” (supposedly brought on by genetic factors), diabetes is instead clearly a disease of insulin resistance brought on by chronic excess carbohydrate (sugar/starch) consumption.  Fructose, in particular, and the overwhelming prevalence of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) added to most processed foods has proven to be an especially lethal potentiator of all forms of metabolic disease (clearly including diabetes and obesity).


Evidence for the considerable safety and long-range benefit of low-carbohydrate dietary approaches is replete in a large number of published, objectively written peer reviewed research studies in medical journals over the last few decades; yet in Australia one medical doctor—Dr. Gary Fettke, is facing the wrath of those threatened by this much needed paradigm shift. Using the available valid evidence provided in medical journals designed to educate doctors in order to help his patients has resulted in both an indictment and now literally a “permanent silencing” by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority from ever so much as mentioning nutritional approaches to diabetes ever again to anyone, in any format.  Never mind the fact that many of Dr. Fettke’s patients flourished as a result of his advice, which essentially promoted a low carbohydrate and higher fat approach to eating.[5] By even so much as admonishing his patients to eat less sugar (in alignment, by the way, with current NIH standards) Dr. Fettke incurred the relentlessly destructive wrath of his establishment peers.

Mind you, these allegations were not a result of so much as a single complaint from any of his patients.  The allegations emerged entirely from industry-based interests (and were mercilessly pursued by their well paid political minions), which currently dominate the whole of Australia’s mainstream health and medical system to an embarrassing— and one could even argue, criminal degree.

Gary Fettke, MD was recently at last called before Australia’s Senate and asked to testify on his own behalf (after 2 1/2 years of extreme harassment by colleagues and officials, and hostile investigation by medical authorities).  Within a mere 3 1/2 hours of delivering his testimony, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) offered their dismissive, ill-considered (read: pre-determined) and final ruling on the matter. As of November 1st of 2016, Dr. Fettke has been permanently forbidden from openly discussing the role of diet in the prevention or management of any disease for the remainder of his entire medical career, under any and all circumstances. No chance for appeal.

It begs the question of “who’s next?” and “where is all this going?”

Mind you, had Dr. Fettke been promoting the standard (read: failed) government dietary guidelines–all a by-product of industry-driven interests, not science– he would never have been given a second glance by the establishment for doing so.  Ironically, in their prosecution of Fettke, the Australian Medical Board insisted that there is “nothing associated with medical training or education that makes a doctor an expert or authority in the field of nutrition.” I can’t exactly argue with that given the deplorable state of nutrition education in medical schools.  But the official statement in this regard seems only to apply to those medical providers exercising deviation from the antiquated “low fat” party line.  Nonetheless, the evidence for the advice Dr. Fettke was offering his patients WAS, in fact, based upon solid peer-reviewed evidence found in medical journals, not to mention widespread clinical evidence.

The following represents a minute, cursory handful of research studies (a mere sampling of what is actually out there) for purposes of illustrating the medically researched evidence in support of the low carbohydrate (and higher fat) dietary approaches to addressing diabetes, as promoted by Dr. Gary Fettke (and as denied by the DAA and Australian, UK and many US medical authorities):

Allick G, Bisschop PH, Ackermans MT, Endert E, Meijer AJ, Kuipers F, Sauerwein HP, Romijn JA.  “A low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet improves glucoregulation in type 2 diabetes mellitus by reducing postabsorptive glycogenolysis.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004, 89(12):6193-6197.

Boden G, Sargrad K, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Stein TP. “Effect of a low carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.” Ann Intern Med 2005, 142(6):403-411.

Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Khadada M, Al-Mousawi M, Talib H, Asfar SK, Behbahani AI, Al-Zaid NS. “Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects.” Mol Cell Biochem 2007.

Daly ME, Paisey R, Paisey R, Millward BA, Eccles C, Williams K, Hammersley S, MacLeod KM, Gale TJ. “Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes–a randomized controlled trial.” Diabet Med 2006, 23(1):15-20.

Gannon MC, Nutgall FQ. “Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2006, 3:16.

Vernon M, Mavropoulos J, Transue M, Yancy W, Jr, Westman E. “Clinical Experience of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet: Effect on Diabetes Mellitus.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1:233-237.

Yancy WS, Jr., Vernon MC, Westman EC. “A Pilot trial of a Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1(3):239-243.

Reaven GM. “Effect of dietary carbohydrate on the metabolism of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.” Nutr Rev 1986, 44(2):65-73.

Garg A, Bantle JP, Henry RR, Coulston AM, Griver KA, Raatz SK, Brinkley L, Chen YD, Grundy SM, Huet BA et al. “Effects of varying carbohydrate content of diet in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.” JAMA 1994, 271(18):1421-1428.

Westman EC, Yancy Jr. WS, Haub MD, Volek JS. “Insulin Resistance from a Low-Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet Perspective.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2005, 3:3-7.

Nielsen JV, Jonsson E, Nilsson AK. “Lasting improvement of hyperglycaemia and bodyweight: low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes–a brief report.” Ups J Med Sci 2005, 110(1):69-73.

Feinman RD, Fine EJ. “Thermodynamics and Metabolic Advantage of Weight Loss Diets.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1:209-219.

Volek JS, Feinman RD. “Carbohydrate restriction improves the features of Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome may be defined by the response to carbohydrate restriction.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:31.

Yancy WS, Jr., Foy M, Chalecki AM, Vernon MC, Westman EC. “A low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:34.

Westman EC, Feinman RD, Mavropoulos JC, Vernon MC, Volek JS, Wortman JA, Yancy WS, Phinney SD. “Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism.” Am J Clin Nutr 2007, 86(2):276-284.

Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, Szapary PO, Rader DJ, Edman JS, Klein S. “A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity.” N Engl J Med 2003, 348(21):2082-2090.

Samaha FF, Iqbal N, Seshadri P, Chicano KL, Daily DA, McGrory J, Williams T, Williams M, Gracely EJ, Stern L. “A low-carbohydrate as compared with a lowfat diet in severe obesity.” N Engl J Med 2003, 348(21):2074-2081.

Volek JS, Forsythe CE. “The case for not restricting saturated fat on a low carbohydrate diet.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:21.

Forsythe CE, Phinney SD, Fernandez ML, Quann EE, Wood RJ, Bibus DM, Kraemer WJ, Feinman RD, Volek JS. “Comparison of low fat and low carbohydrate diets on circulating Fatty Acid composition and markers of inflammation.” Lipids 2008, 43(1):65-77.

Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Gomez AL, Judelson DA, Rubin MR, Watson G, Sokmen B, Silvestre R, French DN, Kraemer WJ. “Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2004, 1(1):13.

Le KA, Tappy L. “Metabolic effects of fructose.” Curr Opin Nutr Metab Care 2006, 9:469-475.

Rutledge AC, Adeli K. “Fructose and the metabolic syndrome: pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms.” Nutr Rev 2007, 65(6):S13-S23.


Australia’s DAA (Dietitians Association of Australia)—long known to have a questionable relationship with the processed food industry (corporate representatives of which actually provide portions of DAA “education”[6]), have also been persecuting and ousting low-carb proponents within their ranks in recent years.[7]  Apparently dietitians seem additionally to be ‘unqualified’ to provide nutritional advice to the public based on updated clinical and peer reviewed evidence and stand to face similar consequences for following more up-to-date, clinically proven and non-industry driven science.  Conventionally trained nutritionists and dietitians in the US are likewise subject to pressures from the same profit driven market forces and receive much of their so-called “education” from these interests.[8]

In December of 2013, the Public Library of Science Medicine published a research article titled “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.”[9]  The findings included (among other things) that, “The researchers identified 18 conclusions from 17 systematic reviews that had investigated the association between SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages] consumption and weight gain or obesity. In six of these reviews, a financial conflict of interest with food industry was disclosed. Among the reviews that reported having no conflict of interest, 83.3% of the conclusions were that SSB consumption could be a potential risk factor for weight gain. By contrast, the same percentage of reviews in which a potential financial conflict of interest was disclosed concluded that the scientific evidence was insufficient to support a positive association between SSP consumption and weight gain, or reported contradictory results and did not state any definitive conclusion about the association between SSP consumption and weight gain.”  The big bottom line?  “[…] systematic reviews with financial conflicts of interest were five times more likely to present a conclusion of no positive association between SSB consumption and obesity than those without them.”  In other words, hidden interests, profit and not wellness has reigned supreme in the realm of (quasi) science and resulting official nutritional policy.

Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine had the following to say:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”


She went on elsewhere in the same article to say,
“Consider the clinical trials by which drugs are tested in human subjects. Before a new drug can enter the market, its manufacturer must sponsor clinical trials to show the Food and Drug Administration that the drug is safe and effective, usually as compared with a placebo or dummy pill. The results of all the (there may be many) are submitted to the FDA, and if one or two trials are positive-that is, they show effectiveness without serious risk-the drug is usually approved, even if all the other trials are negative.”




“In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors’ drugs-largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results. A review of seventy-four clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.”


~Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine


Many supposedly independent medical “experts” and even some state officials publicly supporting certain mainstream treatment approaches are actually very much on Big Pharma’s payroll.  As reported by The American Scholar back in 2011, “Today, medical-journal editors estimate that 95 percent of the academic-medicine specialists who assess patented treatments have financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, and even the prestigious NEJM [New England Journal of Medicine] gave up its search for objective reviewers in June 1992, announcing that it could find no reviewers that did not accept industry funds.”[10]

Overwhelming peer reviewed and clinical evidence points to the fact that diabetes is at its core a disease of insulin resistance driven by diets that are dominated by carbohydrate-based foods—particularly refined carbohydrates.  Anyone saying different either has no idea what they’re talking about or they are taking money under the table from some corporate interest. Period.  Or both. And anyone who insists upon recommending a carbohydrate-based diet to anyone having a diabetic diagnosis should be automatically culpable to charges of medical fraud.

Dr. Gary Fettke is far from alone in his unjust persecution, however. Dr. Timothy Noakes in Cape Town, South Africa has also been standing trial this year for similar allegations that involved offering scientifically validated dietary advice, in which he was amply versed, to those that needed it. In this case the uproar was related to advice given by Noakes to a nursing mother over Twitter, where he suggested she eventually “wean [her] baby onto a low carb, high fat diet”.  South Africa’s regulatory body for health professionals has been holding a series of tribunal-type hearings against Noakes and threatening to revoke his medical license over his support of a more high-fat and low carbohydrate dietary approach.  Much as with the case of Dr. Gary Fettke, the allegations are being leveled by mainstream authorities’ objection to non-mainstream dietary recommendations— but not as any result of so much as even one single patient complaint or any claimed harm.

His trial can be virtually likened to the trial of Galileo by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition in 1633 (for promoting the evidence for a heliocentric vs. earth-centric solar system).  As we know, things didn’t work out so well back then for Galileo…  But hey, close to 500 years later the Catholic Church has finally come around to officially conceding to the inconvenient notion that the earth does, indeed revolve around the sun after all (and not vice versa), and they have at last issued a conciliatory (albeit tardy) posthumous apology to poor Galileo.

Similarly antiquated notions of a “carbo-centric” dietary model drive these modern day witch-hunts.  Only this time, instead of the Catholic Church preserving its own vested interests at the expense of honest science, humanity faces a cataclysmic deterioration in health and burgeoning metabolic diseases due to the vested interests of Monsanto and other facets of Big Agribusiness (Big Oil’s #1 customers), the Food Industry (which still includes the nefarious sugar and HFCS industry), various chemical industries (supplying herbicides and pesticides), phosphate strip-mining industries (through which synthetic fertilizers…and unconscionably profitable, “fluoride” (hydrofluorosilicate) are also produced as a toxic waste product of the industry and forcibly sold to municipalities the world over for “water treatment” purposes), Big Pharma, the profit driven mainstream Medical Industry as a whole, and more.  Every one of these multinational corporate interests (and others) would have every profit-based reason to want to see every man woman and child on planet Earth dependent on a carbohydrate-based diet and metabolism.  Sugary and starchy foods are, after all, dirt cheap to produce, highly profitable and basically keep the population perpetually hungry.  What’s not for the food industry, et al to love?  And the health-related problems generated by a world-wide, modern day unnatural dependence on carbohydrates as a primary source of food/fuel (a unique dietary deviation in human evolutionary history) are only going from bad to worse:  Over 95% of the world population currently suffers health-related issues, with more than a third struggling with more than five ailments, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, published in The Lancet.[11] One can reasonably surmise things have not been improving since 2013.  Currently, the #1 source of bankruptcy in the US is due to a bad health diagnosis.

Still think that those medical authorities prosecuting people like Gary Fettke and Timothy Noakes are really motivated by wanting to protect the rest of us?


“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false, in the sense that independent researchers couldn’t replicate them. The problem is particularly widespread in medical research, where peer-reviewed articles in medical journals can be crucial in influencing multimillion- and sometimes multibillion-dollar spending decisions. It would be surprising if conflicts of interest did not sometimes compromise editorial neutrality, and in the case of medical research, the sources of bias are obvious. Most medical journals receive half or more of their income from pharmaceutical company advertising and reprint orders, and dozens of others [journals] are owned by companies like Wolters Kluwer, a medical publisher that also provides marketing services to the pharmaceutical industry.”


Here’s another quote from the same article:


“The FDA also relies increasingly upon fees and other payments from the pharmaceutical companies whose products the agency is supposed to regulate. This could contribute to the growing number of scandals in which the dangers of widely prescribed drugs have been discovered too late. Last year, GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia was linked to thousands of heart attacks, and earlier in the decade, the company’s antidepressant Paxil was discovered to exacerbate the risk of suicide in young people. Merck’s painkiller Vioxx was also linked to thousands of heart disease deaths. In each case, the scientific literature gave little hint of these dangers. The companies have agreed to pay settlements in class action lawsuits amounting to far less than the profits the drugs earned on the market. These precedents could be creating incentives for reduced vigilance concerning the side effects of prescription drugs in general.”


~Helen Epstein, “Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies”. The NY Review of Books (May 12, 2011)


Consider carefully the fact that low carbohydrate, higher fat dietary approaches to eating (particularly any approach emphasizing food quality and sustainability) are anything but profitable to any existing multinational corporate industries (much less drug companies).   This isn’t to say that there cannot be bad studies promoting this type of dietary approach or occasionally inappropriate biases or special interests held by its researchers on occasion, but the rational implication is certainly there to suggest that there is little financial incentive for mainstream medicine to publicize or adopt many of the solid and verifiable conclusions from the rich plethora of research supporting this point of view. In fact, given the startling effectiveness of this dietary approach for improving a vast variety of conditions, one would (in light of the evidence presented throughout this article) expect far more suppression than support of ancestrally oriented, fat-based, ketogenic approaches to eating.  In other words, don’t expect anyone to ‘officially’ flip the USDA Food pyramid upside down anytime soon (much less revamp the existing food production system to embrace truly healthy food production or sustainability).


The truth only stands a chance against these bullying, misanthropic behemoths if we are willing to recognize the truth for ourselves, and then actually stand up for it. Don’t expect meaningful changes in official policy, much less any effort to put any ‘official’ stop to the ongoing misinformation and disinformation coming from the “top-down”. Our government officials mostly no longer work for us. When it comes to taking charge of our health, we are all very much on our own.  We must maintain our vigilance against insidious laws and practices, while questioning questionable authority. We must also become educated on these matters and take charge of our own health and severely compromised food supply. WE are the ones we’ve been waiting for! Always remember that the price for health in today’s world is vigilance (if not hyper vigilance).

And courageous physicians such as Dr. Gary Fettke and Dr. Timothy Noakes (and others similarly being harassed and destroyed by establishment cronies) deserve our outspoken support, from around the world. It is time to bring this modern day, profit-driven and insidious, draconian Medical Inquisition to an end, once and for all.

~ Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, NTP, BCHN


        PRE-ORDER TODAY   





[1] O’Connor, Anahad. “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.” New York Times, Sept. 12, 2016

[2] Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents.” JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685

[3] Wislar JS, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, DeAngelis CD. “Honorary and ghost authorship in high impact biomedical journals: a cross-sectional survey.” BMJ 2011; 343: d6128

[4] Cohen E, Cragg M, deFonseka, J, et al.  “Statistical review of US macronutrient consumption data, 1965–2011: Americans have been following dietary guidelines, coincident with the rise in obesity.” Nutrition.  May 2015, Volume 31, Issue 5, Pages 727–732.

[5] http://www.nofructose.com/introduction/help-be-a-voice-for-lchf-after-gary-is-silenced/

[6] http://davidgillespie.org/do-we-really-want-our-nutrition-advice-sponsored-by-the-food-industry/

[7] http://www.babyboomersandbellies.com/blog/2015/06/expelled-by-daa-dietitians-association-of-australia/

[8] http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/AND_Corporate_Sponsorship_Report.pdf

[9] Bes-Rastrollo M, Schulz MB, Ruiz-Canela M and Martinez-Gonzalez MA. “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.” PLoS Medicine. December 31, 2013.

[10] https://theamericanscholar.org/flacking-for-big-pharma/#

[11] Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators. “Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.” The Lancet, 2015

Recently Revealed Shady Shenanigans of the Sugar Industry

shady-guyThe Associated Press just published an article in the Los Angeles Times revealing how the sugar industry “began funding research that cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease—in part by pointing the finger at fat—as early as the 1960s, according to an analysis of newly uncovered documents.”   The article underscores this revelation as the “latest example showing how food and beverage makers attempt to shape public understanding of nutrition.”


What the AP article is referring to is the recent publication of an industry expose in JAMA Internal Medicine titled “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents.” [JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 12, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394]


Of course, there’s nothing that moves the sale of “food-like substances” faster than bogus health claims.  If you can get a group of supposed scientists to create a sham study saying, for instance, that “kids that eat more candy weigh less” (and no, I am not making this one up) and the public eats that up (excuse the pun) then from a profit motive standpoint almost anything is possible—ethics and true science be damned (along with the health of the nation).  It turns out this is all far more commonplace a tactic than anyone wants to believe. It all goes WAY beyond the recent AP headline. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21691462]


And it has all been going on for a very, very long time.


Another relatively recent (2013) study published by the Public Library of Science Medicine evaluated whether “industry sponsors’ financial interests might bias the conclusions of scientific research.”  Ya think?  The study was titled, “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.”  It was a juicy read.  Among the many bombshells within it, they offered the conclusion that “Reviews in which a potential conflict of interest was disclosed were five times more likely to present a conclusion of no positive association between SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages]  consumption and weight gain than reviews that reported having no financial conflict of interest.”  Ummm yeah.  Is this any surprise?  And then these companies store up the contrived “peer reviewed evidence” to use as “scientifically validated proof” for supporting either health claims or a lack of harm.  Slick.


This news is far from the only smoking gun. Not only is there a long and sordid history of industry-funded “research” designed solely to market their versions of “food”, but there is quite a bit of conclusive evidence to suggest that the same related industries have been involved for quite some time in establishing educational curriculums for dietitians, medical students and other forms of healthcare professional “higher education”.  For instance, registered dietitians are now given formal education by the Coca-Cola Company on how safe its ingredients are, by the very admission of the American Dietetic Association, itself.  One meticulous 51 page report in 2013 written by Michele Simon for EatDrinkPolitics was titled, “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors… Are America’s Nutrition Professionals in the Pocket of Big Food?”  It is well worth reading.


The ADA/American Dietetic Association (and don’t think it is any different from the DAA/Dietetic Association of Australia, by the way) regularly hold professional conferences that feature exhibits by General Mills, Coca-Cola and other processed food and junk food behemoths.   The lineup of speakers at these conferences have similar industry ties and offer messages ensuring that processed foods are an important part of the diet and are to be consumed right along with fresh produce and mother’s milk.   According to the readily accessible American Dietetic Association’s 2010 annual report, for instance, their corporate partners and sponsors include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, Trivia, SOYJOY, ConAgra, Mars, Inc. and Kellogg’s… along with Unilever (which owns a variety of processed food product brands),  as well as the National Dairy Council and Abbott Nutrition, involved with producing and marketing infant formula companies (don’t even get me started here).


Yep— these are the supposed “nutritional authorities” supplying the public with what passes for nutritional education.  Like, WOW. These are also the same folks bringing you hospital food and school lunches. Just do the math. These are the very institutions that are involved in counseling and credentialing the people doling out dietary advice to the American public, along with hospitals and nursing homes, schools (including medical schools), colleges and virtually everywhere else.   Mind you, not all mainstream nutritionists and dietitians are as ignorant and industry driven as their curriculum (and I personally know more than a few conventionally trained dietitians who are embarrassed by all this, and know better),  but all too often the “official” advice and the policies that emerge from that are the result of industry-driven propaganda, having nothing whatever to do with the advancement or protection of human health. Period.  And the rest of us get to suffer the consequences when that advice converts to official public policy.


Just keep the following thought in mind:  If a diet based on whole, naturally raised and unadulterated food purely in alignment with our genetic/evolutionary heritage and (god forbid) modern day human longevity research that minimizes unhealthy cravings and health care costs wins…then virtually every single multinational corporate interest (right down to Big Oil) loses.


It is hard not to be extremely angry about all this, as millions have died as a result of policies instituted through sham studies and institutionalized industry propaganda of all kinds. Like the so-called studies (many now since debunked) pointing their crooked finger at natural dietary fat for the epidemics of heart disease and diabetes, while “carbage” (carbohydrate-based foods) rests comfortably at the broad base of the USDA (US Department of AGRICULTURE’S) Food pyramid as something everyone is supposed to eat the most of.  The same shenanigans are responsible for EPA and FDA approvals for all kinds of harmful substances, pharmacologic agents and practices, along with the increasing laxity of laws regulating these things. Laws are even being passed (like the recent Monsanto protection bill) that actually protects these misanthropic corporations from having to even disclose the presence of their questionable ingredients in our food.


Nearly all of the major mainstream media is owned by those with interests in these corporations,  so seeing an article like this one slip out through the Associated Press and hitting the headlines is truly a rarity. Mostly, public thinking is shaped by the corporate advertisers that own media institutions. And our politicians have mostly become the minions of multinational corporate interests, under the guise of working “of, by and for the people”.   And the American public is caught up in a thinly veiled reality TV show depicting an all-too dramatic race for the White House currently, which purports to be all part of some democratic process. And in the end, multinational corporations will have their newly elected/selected puppet and Manchurian candidate… and we all will have more of the same.


Do you want REAL change?


Then it is time we stopped looking to our officials to guide our health and well-being. It’s time we took responsibility for our own lives, become the changes we want to see in the world and begin voting for the kind of world we want with our dollars (perhaps the only vote left that has any meaning), spending them more consciously and purposefully in order to create a better future for our health, our children, this country and the rest of our beleaguered planet.


Be awake and be well,





Is There One Universally Foundational Human Diet?

Is There One Universally Foundational Human Diet? Too many of us I think have bought into the idea that “everybody is different” (as though this were stating some deep, rational and solemn wisdom)—therefore where being a vegetarian works for me it might not work for you—or where being a sugar burner is better for me being a fat burner works better for you…  Yes, we are technically omnivores, and some of us get away with certain things better than others. But by no means does this imply that ALL foods we are capable of consuming are all equally optimal for us–or that we somehow need to consume a little of everything to be optimally healthy.  Variety in some respects is good (our microbiome certainly likes variety—especially when it comes to fibrous vegetables and greens), but that by no means implies anything and everything goes with respect to our likes and preferences if we want to be optimally healthy in a world today where health compromises are hitting us from all sides and easily exceed health promoting influences.

We seem to rationalize every indulgence with the other pseudo–wise mantra, “everything in moderation.”  Why everyone silently nods their heads in reverent agreement every time they hear this phrase as though some great wisdom is being spoken is beyond me.  REALLY? That’s not wisdom, that’s politics and/or wishful thinking! How much of anything metabolically dysregulating or inflammatory or disruptive to your endocrine and immune system or even potentially autoimmune provoking do you really want to enjoy “in moderation”?  Are you really that completely healthy and symptom-free? And if you’re lucky (or young) enough to say yes—do you really think it’s always going to be that way?  It is an almost unavoidable fact that we will all choose moments of some compromise in life, but these moments need to be chosen carefully and consciously, and compensated for as much as possible.  And some compromises– especially in light of the dangerous autoimmune epidemic— should never, ever be made at all…by anyone. Case in point: gluten.

And yes—it IS possible to enjoy what you eat while also do the right things. Eating for joy does not need to mean “a little bit of everything goes.”

So getting to the first important point that needs to be made here….There isn’t a separate anatomy and physiology book written for everyone in this room. There are fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology that apply to each and every one of us as human beings.  From there, we extrapolate from nuances and polymorphisms…but those nuances do not necessarily change the solidly established foundations we all share in common.

We each have unique fingerprints, but everyone has fingers.

As human beings we are all much more alike than we are unalike.  We are all the same species (we are even all the same race for God’s sake–the HUMAN race, and we need to start acting like it) and we are ALL bound by the same fundamental anatomical and physiological laws.  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room here. We all share a hydrochloric acid-based digestive tract that’s designed to make optimal use of animal source foods—-including animal fats—and not a fermentative-based digestive tract designed to make optimal use of plant foods (we can eat them, and benefit from them as omnivores, but they cannot supply any of us with everything we need to be optimally healthy on their own).  There isn’t a different digestive design between any one person and another.  We all physiologically have the same complement of digestive juices (namely HCl and pepsin) and digestive pancreatic enzymes. We all are SUPPOSED to have gallbladders to help us digest fats and fat-soluble nutrients. We all have the same basic skeletal structure, tissues, hormones, glands and neurotransmitters. We all share the same kinds of organs, the same type of unique brain (although some clearly work better than others). And unless something important has been amputated, we all share the same complement of appendages that work in roughly the same way (some of which are admittedly gender-specific). We all have a blood pH that ranges very narrowly between 7.35 and 7.45…or else. We all have and rely upon minute intracellular fat-burning factories known as mitochondria that make up close to 10% of our total body weight they are so numerous in us. Our cells all make energy—a-la something called the Krebs cycle, breaking down fat and/or glucose for generating the ATP that fuels our human machinery.

We all require the same ranges of macronutrients. We all need complete source protein.  We all need a significant amount and variety of quality dietary fats, critical (animal source) fat-soluble nutrients and certain essential fatty acids that simply cannot be gotten from plant-based foods in order for us to be optimally healthy.  And I am not saying we should not eat plants.  Not at all. Far from it. But the fact is that there is no human alive for whom carbohydrates are dietarily foundationally essential, therefore there can be no such thing as a sugar or starch deficiency in anyone. There is no denying that. There are those that like to debate this.  Within the actual science of human physiology there really is no debate.

All the same foundations are foundational for all of us in an extremely basic way. The rest is all nuance…

A few takeaways from my AHS16 talk:  

1) The most important key to optimal health and to what makes us human in the first place lies not in our individual differences, but in that which we all have in common.

2) “Biochemical individuality” supplies the nuance, but it is our common physiological design that supplies our most essential foundations, which ALL humans share.

You can watch my full length talk for FREE here: https://youtu.be/8k5QixWL0fU

(If you like it, please comment on Youtube, thank you!)

To Your Health and Self-Empowerment,

~ Nora