Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kwasniewski; praise the lard

This article was originally published in 2004 in the Chicago Tribune. It's still knocking around on the web in various places but the original seems to have disappeared. You can't have too much of a good thing. Obviously Stephan's recent posts on lard prompted me to put this one up. The imported nutritionist doesn't seem quite as dismissive as you might expect! But notice in the last paragraph that the big bogeyman is protein overload damaging the kidneys! On 60g/d of protein??? Sobor clearly knows nothing about high fat diets, certainly not the one he is commenting so authoritatively about in this case!


Praise the LARD

By Monica Eng
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- Vinka Peschak starts each day by knocking back a full cup of heavy whipping cream.

That's at 8 a.m.

"At around 11 o'clock I take three or four egg yolks and make some kind of omelet with lard for breakfast," the Portage Park resident explains. Peschak, a native of Poland, eats her omelet with a cup of buttery boiled vegetables and a slender piece of almond toast slathered in more butter or lard.

Dinner is usually a fatty piece of pork or some kind of organ meat with lard-cooked french fries and more butter-soaked vegetables.

In the middle of the day she might have a cup of coffee, "but only with a lot of heavy whipping cream in it."

Peschak has been eating like this for more than five years. She is slim, energetic, and says, "I feel wonderful, never tired and never hungry."

She is not on Atkins. She is not on South Beach.

Peschak, along with an estimated 2 million folks worldwide is on the Optimal Diet, a Polish eating plan that requires the consumption of prodigious amounts of animal fat -- preferably lard.

The diet was hatched in Poland some 40 years ago by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski, who started developing it while working as a dietician for a military sanitarium in Ciechocinek, Poland. There he observed that many of his patients were sick, "not because of any pathogenic factors ... but the result of one underlying cause -- bad nutrition," according to his English language "Optimal Nutrition" book. After experimenting on his family and himself, Kwasniewski concluded that the ideal nutritional combo came from eating three grams of fat for every one gram of protein and half a gram of carbohydrates.

After a couple of decades of refining this theory, Kwasniewski published his first book in Poland in 1990. But it wasn't until converts came forward with their stories of weight loss and recovery from disease in the mid-'90s that the diet really took off it its native land and Kwasniewski's books went into wide circulation. Today there are at least two magazines devoted to the Optimal lifestyle and Kwasniewski writes a twice weekly column for the regional Polish newspaper Dziennik Zachodni.

It wasn't until 2001, though, that Chicago would become the North American capital for this eating plan. That's when Tomasz Zielinski bought a little storefront on Milwaukee Avenue and opened Calma Optimal Foods. The first and only one of its kind in the nation, it operates as a deli, meeting center and, as of this spring, a restaurant for those on the lard-laden plan. Peschak serves as its manager.

Sometimes called the Polish Atkins, the Optimal Diet severely restricts the intake of carbohydrates and sugars, but differs from Atkins by de-emphasizing protein and beefing up, or more accurately porking up, the fat to a level that would have even made the late Robert Atkins reach for his heart.

On average, the diet recommends a whopping 250 grams of fat per day, about four times what the FDA recommended for the average person to maintain his/her weight and about 10 times the amount of saturated fat allowed.

So despite its popularity in Poland -- Lech Walesa is reported to have lost 44 pounds and cured his diabetes on it recently -- the mainstream medical establishment there and here is skeptical.

"I am very against diets like this," says Jadwiga Roguska, a practicing internist at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. "All high-fat diets are unhealthy in the long term and there is absolutely no benefit to weight reduction of this sort because it is threatening to health. ... Of course, high-fat diets will give you the benefits of energy and weight loss, but they are just not good for you."

Roguska based her comments on a brief overview of its principles, but Chicago physician Mark Sobor has seen it up close and has watched an increasing number of his patients in the Polish community embrace it.

"Kwasniewski is pure fat," says Sobor who practices in Jefferson Park and is also a licensed acupuncturist. "Eat fat non-stop. Everything is pure fat. The more fat you can take in the better and these people are fanatics about it. But the thing is they're all skinny."

On a recent Sunday morning at the Optimal deli/center in Portage Park, Ill., about 30 mature, fairly slim followers of the Kwasniewski plan gathered for a weekly meeting and shared their stories.

There was the ginger-haired firecracker Irena Kozlowicz, 78, who went on the diet five years ago after Kwasniewski came to speak at the Copernicus Center in 1999. At the time she was suffering from chronic eye problems, asthma and pain in her knees.

"Now I can walk better than a young person," she chirps. "I can run up six floors of stairs and my grandson can't catch me. He's 17 years old. I meet young ladies and they are always tired and sweating, but I never am. I didn't need to lose weight, but I lost 8 pounds. I am 78, but I feel like I am 50. I thank God for the diet."

Then there is Jozef Michael Ostrowski, 71, who says he has been on a variation of the diet his whole life.

"Since the occupation of Poland my parents could only afford pork meat and liver and blood sausage and lard," Ostrowski says through an interpreter. "It is not like I was following this diet precisely but generally. At that time I didn't know this kind of natural food was good for me. I just knew that I could eat scrambled eggs with a thin piece of bread and lard and I would be full all day. I started eating regular food like McDonald's and I could not handle the pain and so I went back to the diet and have felt better and better every day."

Zofia Pawlik, 56, started the diet last year when she went on an Optimal vacation, a retreat to the Wisconsin Dells to learn about the program and eat its foods. Over the course of a year, she says she has lost 10 pounds while improving her energy and overall health.


Chicago physician Christopher Kubik wasn't at the meeting, but in a phone interview he said that four and a half years ago he was overweight and suffering from fatigue and stones in the bladder. But within a couple of months of embarking on this high-fat journey he saw results.

"I was losing weigh gradually (he lost about 25 pounds in six weeks) but I felt fine. Since then, I didn't have any more problems with stones, my skin complexion improved and I am still feeling a lot of energy," says Kubik, 57, who reports that he breakfasts on fried eggs, bacon and string cheese seven days a week. "So I experienced myself significant detectable improvement even though I generally had good health to begin with. While I was losing the weight I could feel the ketones as a metallic tasted on the mouth, but after I reached my optimal weight, (the ketosis) stopped. Now my weight has remained steady at about 185, which is in the upper limit of normal for my height."

Kubik, who also has degrees in public health and health law, says he does not actively promote the diet, "because it is not considered a standard of care and the medical community still recommends low-fat diets and it is not something I could support if I were sued." But if patients ask, "I tell them that I am on it and have seen positive results."

Dr. Sobor has also seen a growing number of Kwasniewski converts who claim weight loss is only one of the benefits they've reaped.

Chester Matuszewski, 46, for instance says that four years ago he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was told that there was no way he could be totally cured.

"Every single joint imaginable in my hips, elbows, knees and hands hurt," Matuszewski recalled. Remembering something he had read in a Polish newspaper about the Optimal diet, he decided to check it out even though it seemed unappetizing.

"For years I thought that pork is not good for you and I didn't like the smell, but I forced myself. ... After two months I started to feel better and I didn't want to attribute it to the diet. But my friends also saw a difference in me and I had so much energy. Today after four years, I have no pain and no swelling and I am totally cured."

Sobor hears these stories all the time, but still has his reservations.

"I'm sure you've heard their claims that their joint pain is gone and diabetes is gone," he says. "And they say it because it's true. You can apparently get a lot of benefits if you decrease your carbohydrate intake, and stop taking in all the white flour and stop taking in all the refined foods because you are not stressing your body out all the time with all of the insulin spikes and becoming hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic."

"But do I recommend the diet? I don't know," he says. "I don't think Kwasniewski is as good as Atkins or that it is something you should go on for a long time. Now the South Beach Diet that is a nice diet with more flexibility. But this Optimal diet is the most radical of the low-carb diets."

Despite the popularity of the diet in its country of origin, it remains controversial there among traditional Polish nutritionists who oppose its high cholesterol and fat recommendations.

"They don't like it because they see it endangers their own positions as nutritional authorities," says Peschak.


In the U.S. the Optimal Diet hasn't yet caught the attention of the medical establishment. The American Medical Association doesn't have a position on Atkins, much less Optimal. And Lisa Dorfman, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, had not heard of it either.

Still, based on a quick description of the diet, she didn't condemn it outright.

"I can see how this would be a very attractive program, certainly in the senior citizen community because these are nutrient dense foods and seniors don't need to eat a lot of food," says Dorfman, a licensed nutritionist.

"And some of the foods are very nutritious albeit very high in fat and cholesterol. Liver is very high in iron and B vitamins, which would be lovely for senior citizens because they need those vitamins and are usually on a budget in that time of life.

"But for the general public I see where there could be potential problems. We just know that long-term high-fat diets leave one with a heightened risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension. This is certainly not for children, teenagers or pregnant women.

Most Americans are getting too much fat as it is and they are not getting enough activity and they have incredible risk for heart disease because of a whole multiple list of factors including genetics and stress. And so I can't imagine that adding fat and lard and cholesterol into the mix would be beneficial to that."

"But for this group of Polish seniors I think it's adorable, especially if it was developed by someone from the old country. As a psychotherapist, I can see where they must feel like you've got to be healthy eating this because there is a psychological connection to eating these foods. It's old country eating."

Going back to the basics. It is different from the commercial processing chemical laden foods. I certainly believe these people are benefiting in some way, but it may be more than one way and it may be for certain groups and not for others is my gut hunch. It might not be appropriate for three-quarters of the population but maybe they've hit the nail on the head and this is perfect for them."


Although there is general agreement in the health community that lots of refined flours and sugars and their accompanying insulin spikes are not healthful, most conventional nutritionists are still not ready to embrace low-carb, high-protein and high-fat diets because of their perceived effects on the organs.

But could wear and tear on the liver, kidneys and heart be worth it for an older person to be free of the health risks of obesity?

"That I don't know," Sobor says. "No one on Atkins has died of kidney failure yet, but you can probably find a nephrologist (kidney specialist) who says it's good, one who says its bad and one who is in between. Because the truth is no one really knows yet."

"The final question is who dies faster, the people who are obese or the people who go on these diets. You would have to take 2,000 people on the diet and then 2,000 controls to see what is going to kill them first, the extra pounds or the extra protein load on the kidneys or whatever this diet will do to you. The pounds are going to do it in the short and medium term. There's no question about that. But the jury is out on the long term. The final arbiter is death. If they live longer than you do, then they won."


.^ said...

I've been gorging myself on videos over the last couple of days, including one about Dr K on CBS: Fit through Fat.

I had a little trouble getting the video to play, but eventually managed it in IE, using the direct link here.

The clip is a bit "once over, lightly".

Stephan Guyenet said...

I love this quote: "Of course, high-fat diets will give you the benefits of energy and weight loss, but they are just not good for you."

I've been eating a lot of fat these past few months. I'm going to have my bloodwork done soon here; I'll post it on the blog.

Manda said...

what i love is how they say this diet is definitely not for children, teenagers or pregnant women--ha! and that it wouldn't work for 3/4 of the population.

i have been working on this diet for 3 months or so and love it. but i am still not eating enough b/c i am still pretty hungry a lot and ravenous in the morning. but how does one consume the recommended 250 grams of fat? when i put my food into fitday, i only come up with maybe 150-200 grams and that's if i really make a concerted effort. i find it really difficult to eat that much--is this just me?

i can't eat cream except for my morning shake where i only have 1/2cup (and also 1/2 c. milk), but i put in 6 egg yolks and that only comes to 80 grams fat. cream is too sweet for me so during the rest of the day i like more savory things.

oh, and i have Dr. K's Optimal Diet b/c my sister was able to get over to the deli in Chicago and pick it up for me. i loved it! but it's too bad the recipes are so foreign to me. i really need a support group around here so i can see how others eat these foods. :)


.^ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
.^ said...

[sorry, typos in the previous post, hence deletion]

I'm definitely going to get Dr K's book, although it's a bit awkward here in NZ (I'll try the second-hand stores first). But I do have two problems with what I've heard (albeit indirectly) so far.

1. His recommendations seem to be based on Polish tradition - if he were, say, Mexican, would it still be pork and potatoes that are "optimal"?
2. If it's being reported correctly, why the emphasis on getting a certain absolute quantity? People are different sizes and activity levels. Surely the ratio is the main thing?

Peter said...


I can see it would be very difficult without cream and butter added to everything. Is it possible to add coffee with heavy cream 2-3 times a day? Or extra butter on some green veg? I don't really use Dr K's recipes as I'm gluten free and many of the more traditional ingredients are not freely available in the UK... So my approach is added fat anywhere I can fit it in and maybe a few chips to soak it up (you break the chips up with a fork to increase the fat absorbing capacity)

Hope that helps, a bit anyway...


Peter said...

Hi Chainey,

Kwasniewski pares his diet down to the bare basics. Get the protein as low as practical for health. He subscribes to pork being as closest to human needs as possible. My family won't live on pork alone! He pares carbs down to enough to stop ketosis, take your pick, avoid sugars. After that it's all animal fat with strict avoidance of vegetable fats. The flavourings for the meat and choice of carbs appear to be wide open and could be taken from any traditional diet. He has a formula for protein intake, based on his idea of ideal weight, height in cm minus 100. For me at 177 this gives 77kg, range 70-84kg. At 65kg I'm badly underweight. This formula is very hard on short people! Needs adjusting there.

Protein starts at 1g/kg ideal weight and drops to 0.8g/kg when well established. I don't think I get this low consistently. Carbs are about 0.5 g/kg, more with exercise, just to keep out of ketonuria. Fat is adjusted to control appetite and/or weight. Bear in mind I'm too vain to weigh 84kg, but I am willing to accept that this might be healthier than 65kg, provided it is achieved by LC high fat methods.


Manda said...

thanks peter! yeah, i'm grain free as well so most of Dr. K's menu wouldn't work for me, but i liked the idea of trying some of them. :)

i have been adding coconut oil and/or butter to soups and that helps. i am not a coffee drinker--scared of the caffeine, even in decaf. since i have a history of adrenal fatigue i try to avoid all sugar and caffeine (except for occasional dark chocolate).

and in trying to keep my carb count low, i don't eat many vegetables, but maybe i will add in a little. i'll keep plugging away...


Anna said...

I think I need a t-shirt that says "Praise the Lard". Can I shamelessly borrow this?

Peter said...

Hee heee, sounds good to me!


Stan Bleszynski said...

Amanda wrote: ...but how does one consume the recommended 250 grams of fat? when i put my food into fitday, i only come up with maybe
150-200 grams and that's if i really make a concerted effort. i find it really difficult to eat that much--is this just me?

No it is not only you. I could never make myself to consume 3.5g/kg of fat (OD specifies 2.5-3.5g/kg). Typically I eat 1.5-2.5g/kg and my energy intake is ~23kcal/kg.

Either I and many people I know are not typical or our estimates of the "ideal" body weight based on height tend to overestimate it for "Vata" body types (European "Ascetic"). Women also need probably less calories than men of the same weight.

Kwasniewski or his team are advising not to count fat; count only protein and carbohydrates and then add as much or as little fat as you need in order to balance your daily energy expenditure. In other words do not worry about conforming too strictly to the fat ratio but make sure that it does provide majority of your calories!

After a while (a few months) counting of the macronutrients and weighing meals and ingredients is no longer necessary. One just gets into a habit of doing it automatically.

Stan (Heretic)

Peter said...

Absolutely yes Stan,

Once you're familiar with the OD you don't count anything much. I certainly haven't used Fitday for years. It becomes very easy to eat this way.


Anonymous said...

I thought that was actually a pretty balanced account, considering what the mainstream media would've done with this 10 years ago. The tide is turning, slowly.

I raised my eyebrows at some of the assertions, like, the diet "differs from Atkins by de-emphasizing protein." I don't know about the original book, but by the time of DANDR Atkins certainly wasn't emphasizing protein. His answer to critics who said high protein diets were bad was, "This is not a high-protein diet; it is a high-fat diet."

Still, there were some positive things about the article. It was great to see someone recommending nutrient dense foods to seniors. It was good to hear the mainstream media admitting that the diet has some benefits, like energy, weight loss, and curing diabetes.

I keep wondering how biased and stupid that account would be if it has been Gina Kolata reporting.

mess talker said...

I have to do a better job with my calculations and watching what I eat. I wish I had a problem getting all this fat down. Peter's cream and cocoa (even 0 sugar) gets me going. Or just butter. and bacon. I'm actually up 5lbs. A little of that has to do with coming off of lent with grand style and a few too many margaritas which lowered my resistance to the nearby chips and salsa.
The alcohol is my biggest problem and chocolate (even at 70-85%). I'm at one to two drinks per day (and too many nibs of choc). Trying to keep that as my carbs! My wife is a bartender and she likes to share good french wine. Difficult to say no. But I exercise a lot. Should really concentrate on the numbers though just to see where I'm at.
Shop at calma optimal foods a lot now. Really great bigos, kielbasa, butter, chickens, ice cream and eggs. The eggs are open pasture and alfalfa fed. Tried them today for the first time and they were great!
So sorry this is long but I have a few questions too. As I understand Milk produces an insulin response. How about Cheese? Honey? Beer? Wine?

.^ said...

Just following up on one element of the story:

'Lech Walesa is reported to have lost 44 pounds and cured his diabetes on it recently'

I'm not sure what "reported" means - presumably not that Dr K. claims it. Anyway, according to This news item Walesa still has diabetes and is not, in fact, in very good shape.

G said...

Ya know, I tried hyperlipid on vacation in La Jolla x2wks... The non-organic full fat cream was accompanied by a whole pot of coffee. and the few extra Coronas, wine also probably made a dent in the overall calories. We did try an excellent reddish Vietnamese beer down in Hillcrest -- wow, it was fantastic. The carbs were as low as normal but probably sneaked in a few of the kid's fries and chicken nuggets :)
I gained 5 lbs too!! ANd that's like 5% of my overall weight... and it's NOT muscle! most was in the (sorry -- will try semi-rated PG-13) not that anyone is complaining at my house (least of all me) and the running is still good. Just started 10-mile runs again so hunger is up. Caffeine and high fat cause fibrocystic mastalgia -- so I've had to cut back. I'm curious to see the cholesterol pattern after the experimentation! I did start vitamin A -- but that shouldn't affect weight.

Anonymous said...

JK's diet doesn't cure diabetes. He may eliminate the need for insulin, but that's a stop-gap IMO. I define cure as being able to eat unrefined carbs as 1/3 of diet without having high insulin, low blood sugar, etc. Following a strict diet the rest of your life isn't a cure. I'm looking for a diet that will cure diabetes, inside out. Most doctors claim that you can't regenerate, I don't share that view. Ray Peat believes we can be immortal or at least live vastly longer than we do. So do I. Old age isn't inevitable, it's a disease of civilization like diabetes.

Anonymous said...

Mess Talker, I've heard that cheese stimulates vastly less insulin than milk. Cordain has a paper about it. See the "published research" on his website. Scroll down to #30.

The safest wines are probably those with the highest proof: Chardonnay, Cabernet, Burgundy, etc. Aim for 24 proof or higher (12% alcohol). Also don't drink and eat carbs. Or PUFAs for that matter, unless you want an increased risk of cirrhosis.

.^ said...

Just to stoke the lard fire a bit more ...

Reading Dr Mike Eades' archives, I came across this interesting piece: Add lard to your larder (perhaps that should be a t-shirt slogan too).

Funny to see back to the days when Dr Mike got a single comment on a blog post. Nowadays they sometimes run to 50-60 comments or more.

Peter said...

Hi Chainey,

Thanks for the link. It raises some interesting points. I'm not at all sure that it is possible to "cure" type two diabetes. Restricting your carbohydrate intake will allow you to live within the limits imposed by the problem your body has, but I don't think anyone will ever get back to living on donuts after a stint of LC eating. In diabetes something is broken and I don't see it getting unbroken, at least not easily. Regeneration happens, especially in type 1 diabetes, but type 2 is a whole body problem...

If Lech Walesa did normalise his blood sugars on the OD, I wouldn't call that a cure. Certainly going back to normal eating would reverse any benefit. The article didn't mention that Walesa was on some weird saturated fat diet. In fact, if he was still on the OD, that might have made major headlines.

This then leads back to the Swedish diabetes paper and the switch of some, but not all, of the low fat group to LC. What prompted those few high carb eaters to stay with the diet which had produced no improvement? What makes anyone who has had clear cut health and well being effects on the Atkins diet go back to toast and marmalade? It certainly happens (my sister for a start). Maybe that's what happened here. If so it's tragic. I can't come to accept that after all of the diabetes studies using diets high in saturated fat that this has been the problem here...

Still, very interesting. Thanks for digging.


Peter said...

Hi Mess Talker,

It looks to be the casein in milk which spikes insulin without spiking glucose. This happens with isolated casein as well as milk. Unless the fermentation process breaks down the insulinogenic amino acids from the casein I don't really see how cheese can have less of an insulinogenic effect than the milk it came from... Cordain is lost in low fat vs high fat and doesn't seem to know about the insulinogenic effects of certain amino acids. Whether that insulin spike will block lipolysis or whether there is a glucagon spike to counterbalance it I don't know. You see on LC forums that people improve weight loss with dairy elimination. I can see this could be insulin related (or simply calorie related, there's almost no water in 100g of cheese compared to 100g of beef....).

Again, nothing technical to back it up, but alcohol is reputed to inhibit fat burning. It's sufficiently toxic that the body's need is to metabolise it asap. This take priority over fat burning. Pure anecdote, possibly from Barry Groves. Small amounts are fine, more not.

Lutz mentions the "Drinking Man's Diet" based around saturated fat which minimises the PUFA and carb derived problems mentioned by Bruce.

Honey, beer and wine will spike insulin to deal with their carb content. Just has to happen, no insulin, no carb utilisation. I tend to keep my "official" carbs low so cooking wine and a lot of the chocolate can be ignored.


PS Don't know about anyone else but I get very drunk very easily since LC eating.

Peter said...

Hi g,

Well that has me thinking..... OK, leaving any considerations of appropriate anatomical weight distribution aside... You don't weigh very much!

Another of Kwansiewski's tenets is that there is a limit to fat absorption so weight automatically stabilises. Maybe it does, but not at 50Kg!!! For anyone wanting to maintain a BMI well below 20 the OD will not do the job automatically as it aims for that "height in cm minus 100 +/- 10%" as the ideal weight in kilos. As you know, many of us are well below this "ideal" and it comes back to that "no gurus" rule. I have huge respect for Dr K but I still trawl pubmed all of the time to make my own decisions for myself. I simply don't want to stabilise my weight at 84kg when 65kg is where I'm happy. While there are suggestions that Dr K may be correct from Flegal's paper, I prefer to stick at 11-12% bodyfat for myself. I got complaints when I was down at 9%.

The Vietnamese beer sounds very interesting, sigh. Oh, we got "wheated", probably in a restaurant in Norwich where we stuck to the gluten free items (officially marked as such) on the menu. Gut probs for both of us and upper thoracic spine problems for me. I'd forgotten what it was like! Better now, 3 days down the line. No fun at the time. I even took a gram of paracetamol and 15mgs of dihydrocodeine for the spine pain at bed time on the evening it hit. That's the second ever dose of paracetamol since LC eating, excepting a short post surgical course.


.^ said...

I have a theory about "underweight". I have no intention of seeking any evidence to support my hypothesis, as I want to be a government-funded scientist when I grow up.

Anyway, so the figures suggest that moderately (BMI) overweight people live longer. But we all know what most people eat. So maybe the overweight people get enough nourishment from the fat they don't avoid (since they don't avoid much of anything), whereas the "slim" people are malnourished on oatbran and tofu.

However, being slim on eggs and cream may give you the nutrient benefit of the "fat" people without the well-known drawbacks of the extra weight.

mess talker said...

Hey peter thanks for the reply. I guess it all makes sense. I'm not surprised that cheese would create an insulin spike. Especially after hearing how much milk it takes to create cheese. I'm great at turning my nose up at a cup of white but have no problem digging into to that creme de bourgoune. Sure wish booze was healthy. Although I too get tipsy quickly eating low carb. but then go in search of some sort of stomach filler to catch it all and soak it up.
I think my initial problem came from a story in taubes' book concerning people low carbing up to 3000+ calories a day and still losing weight. I have to realise I'm trying to lose that last 10, well 15 now, lbs and not trying to get the ball rolling on the first hundred. SO no free for all stomach busting fat frenzy.
and to g, thanks for sharing the story of your new found 5lb addition. just be careful running with those! HA! Just kidding. Not to be taken as vulgar.

mess talker said...

and about LARD. there was a fun band in the 90's with Jello Biafra (dead kennedys) called Lard with great poster art and humor. Power of Lard was a great song. I think they played on the fearful aspect of Lard and just used that word out of context. Too funny, to be able to frighten with only the idea of something so healthy. Margerine. might be better. I can't believe it's not Lard.

Dr. B G said...

Hi, sorry about the beer... make sure your vitamin D gets to 60 ng/ml... maybe that might help?
Well my BMI is now 19.4! The definition for underweight is < 18.5 for Asians and Indo-Asians (and overweight > 23.0! obesity > 25.0!)

I'm surprised that Flegal had those findings? a paper in China curiously made the same conclusion. My body fat is still high (well relatively speaking). When I started LC, it was 38%! no kidding! but I haven't checked since. probably like 20% now (300% boobies ha haa).

I like Chainey's 'underweight' theory... btw the way thanks for your 'concern' -- don't worry -- no black eyes... yet

Anonymous said...

"PS Don't know about anyone else but I get very drunk very easily since LC eating."

Me, too - and very hung over afterward, or sometimes even during - if I hadn't experienced it myself, I would've never believed that one can be hung over while still drunk. One glass of wine is all I can handle. (I wonder if propanolol exacerbates this - I have been taking it for migraines since before I returned to LC, and it worked so well that I am afraid to give it up. But I am not thrilled about the drug for a number of reasons.)

G said...

oops sorry -- that was MESS TALKER *wink*
Peter -- you must appear skeletal at 9%! (even though rowing is probably a lot easier) it's probably good to keep the body fat a teensy bit higher... keep your cat (with the dilapatory tongue) happy w/something to perch on!

Unknown said...

Hi to all. This is no competitions, and some impressive comments there. My parents have spent 2 months straight in Poland with Dr K. And have many miracle stories to tell. Dr K is going to be presenting my fathers' case as an example at a international conference in a couple of days. And I have shared my fathers' journey. It is summorized in an article that I wrote to the TIMES mag in the US. I hope the copy of it I can paste below. If not, watch this space...

Personal note to Peter - I am so impressed. I onle dreamt that people like you would be out there!!!

To: ''
Subject: High Fat diet article - Sept 2007

While researching for a school project on the "Food pyramid and good nutrition" for my son, I have come across this article ("Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer?", Time magazine, Sept 17 2007). My fathers' case here is Australia is being kept quiet by the medical establishment as they have no room for accepting his "unusual" case of recovery from a very aggressive cancer, and it is with reference to this I write.

My father (65 years old) was diagnosed with a non-small cell carcinoma of the lung with metastasis into the lymph nodes. The diagnosis was made by the way of evidence supported by pathology findings, exploratory procedure, and PET scans. By co-incidence, he by then was aware and already starting (in a half heated way), a diet (for lack of a better word!) of low carbohydrate intake and high in saturated fats. Following his diagnosis, he turned directly to a doctor across the globe specializing in this nutritional approach. Dr J.Kwasniewski put him under his direct instruction in nutritional regiment with view of combating his cancer (a non-profit consult process). 8 months later the local doctors were in disbelief that this 65 year old man who should have been gone and buried is alive and incredibly well. Another 10 months on, regular tests are carried out and find him fit and well with no evidence of any anomalies associated with this history. He laughs at the disbelief - they do not wish to accept, or even listen to, his story - a high fat, carbohydrate deprivation diet which killed the incurable cancer before it killed him. Aside from occasional phone call with this doctor, he has self-managed his case and came out alive and well. Not only that, his clogged arteries of the heart from 7 years ago are no more – his heart is better than that of most 30 year olds.

This is a genuine story of "miracle" which is within the reach of all. As long as we are willing to say good-bye to the politically correct Food Pyramid which is killing us and our children. All people on earth should know the truth.

Cave men died from animal attacks and other primitive reasons. But they were more advanced than us in their eating habits. There was no cancer. There was no diabetes. There was no obesitiy. There was no ADHD. They ate fruit when it was in season, they did not eat margarine, they did not eat white bread and hot cross buns. They ate loads of meat, loads of animal fat, some vegetables and nuts, and little grains. They had no sugar packets, no chips, no lollies. Can we not eat scrambled eggs for breakfast, soup for lunch, and meat & veg for dinner? Why do our kids have chips and chocolate bars washed down with soft drink at school, while we then accept visits to the dentist as the norm, and accuse the governments for the increasing rate of our health problems? Our government does not pack our kids lunches. We do.

We are killing ourselves with the wheat and sugar carbohydrates. It makes no difference in what shape they come – white or brown sugar, white or wholemeal bread. An empty debate. A mountain of information is available with regards to the benefits of saturated fats, loads of clinical and lab evidence, and real life cases. Those will always be dismissed by the orthodox medical establishment who is driven by the pharmaceutical companies. This misinformed and unproven "truth" of the Food Pyramid is so established as gospel that no doctors, and no universities and no board of directors are aware of how it came to be anymore. Because it is as it always (40 years plus) has been. And everyone will defend the "truth" to the ends. Yet they are not able to explain the growth of cancer, diabetes and obesity in this society. It is simply academic, right? Surely, we can fundraise, reasearch and treat with medication!! Oh, the benefits.... Yet those who challenge this facard by looking for govenrnment grants with view to show where reality lies, are turned down and accused of no less than quackery. And should someone try to make money on this reality in order to raise their own funds so they can carry reasearch on their merits? Well, we all know the trials and tribulations of Dr Atkins. The government driven departments don't think much of him so we follow... Because our hospital doctors who save our lives know better. We would not want to put them out of their jobs, right?

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to hear more. It is a true story, proven by the medical histories all the way through. And it is not the only story coming from this source. The world needs to wake up. The more is said, the more it is published, the better off humanity will be. And the more likely our children are to thrive and survive.

My son is tomorrow heading off to school being a pioneer. He is taking to school a pyramid that is upside down. An 11 year old who is taking on the world as he knows it. A boy whose grandfather is a quiet legend, a boy who is battling having ADHD drugs pumped into him by the medical society, and who has just been diagnosed a celiac. Can't we do the same? Challenge our world? Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over……… because repetition is what it took for society to accept the food pyramid. And only repetition can possibly make people look again. Repetition on TV makes us believe that McDonalds is good, and we need that coke. This is what repetition does. Sad thing is - who is going to fund this "new" idea? Not the conventional doctors.

We thank Dr J.Kwasniewski in Poland for his tireless effort and committment in what he truely believes, and for his struggles against the orthodox establishment. He is saving lives in a way that any doctors wish they could - at a distance, across the globe.

A must read: "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?", Gary Taubers, The New York Times, July 7, 2002.

Kasha Mikoda


Unknown said...

Oh, just read some more blogs... yes, you can treat Type 2 diabetes. Dr K has a book-full of documented cases. Another, admitedly shorted book, of cases cured of MS. And just a few documented cancers... icing on the top! Am I stirring up something out there? Have a feeling this blog might burn up... Just know that this can all be proven through documentation and life-long reasearch. Take note - THIS MAN DEDICATED FOUR TIMES WORTH OF CALENDAR TIMe OF RESEARCH MORE than it took the world to accept the food pyramid - with NO reasearch. Swallow that, along with a half dozen eggs yolks a day!! With pleasure...

A year ago I would have ripped out anybody's throat for suggesting anymore that Goji juice mixed with freshly squeezed vegie juice and acupuncture on my father. Now I am thought as weird in the "alternative" circles in which I work. Now there's something refreshing!

Peter said...

Wow Kasha,

No one seems to mention the C word much. A small number of case reports... As you mention you come from a juice based vegetable background I can see how going to the OD diet must have been a serious undertaking. From what I've heard the Naturopathic approach, as pioneered by Gerson, does not seem to work at all well in the modern setting. I can see far more logic to a ketogenic approach.

It is still such a big unknown but I have heard at least one other anecdotal report of end stage lung cancer treated with combined conventional therapy/low sugar diet. If you have nothing to loose...

Article cited by Kasha
Other article lying around on my hard drive


water said...


If its not too much trouble, how about posting your father's lipid profiles - before and after?

Congrats on his return to health


Unknown said...

Thank you Peter for the last article. Amazing that evidence shown in 1931 is still not sinking in, and chemo patients are being given a good dose of "supplements" of near pure sugar mixed with a good doze of chemicals and preservatives for good measure. "Supplement" - for cancer cells only. Very sad that nutritionists and doctors are still refusing to hear the message. So frustrating!!

And keeping track of lipids on my father was unfortunately not something that was concidered important by the orthodox medical establishment, and sorry to say I am not able to priove those. My father was also at that time not fussed with keeping evidence aside from what was required.

I, on the other hand, having gone onto the same way of nutrition, am keeping a food diery and having monthly blood tests, incl. liver function, kidney function, cholesterol, etc. Will send an update in a few months to see how it's all travelling.

Peter said...

Thanks for the follow on Kasha. It will be interesting to see what happens with your blood work, but ultimately what matters is what happens with your health, exactly as for your father.

Good health!


SaraG said...

Could you clarify "Regeneration happens, especially in type 1 diabetes" or give me a link to more information. Very interested. I have a niece 15yrs with type 1. Thanks, SaraG

Peter said...

Hi Sara,

You could start here

Regeneration appears to happen and controlling glucose is easy. That just leaves stopping the auto immune attack. Normalising D3, normalising fatty acid ratios, avoiding WP5212 and any other grains/legumes seems like a good start...


Whatever you do, drugs will probably have unintended consequences...

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter, Really enjoying your blog by the way. I went hyperlipid 3 weeks ago (managing 65%+ of kcals from fat daily - logged it at calorie counter and my piechart is looking good).
My question is about kidney stones. I am young woman, never had a problem with stones before but this week I had mild pain in the back and this morning I noticed I passed a small "stone". I still have the mild pain in my back (which I thought was women's pain but obviously it isn't).

Previous to this I have been on a med-hi carb diet, extremely low fat (I went to a slimming club for years and followed the low-fat diet trying to lose a little weight as I am overweight). My diet over the last 3 weeks has been a fatty Atkins version (not too much protein I don't think) but few enough carbs to get into ketosis and so far I have lost 4lbs in the 3 weeks. Anyway I tell you context because I figure it may help somehow... I am trying to work out whether my hi-fat diet has dislodged kidney stones already there (like a healing process - I already killed candida overgrowth 2 weeks ago which was pain in aching musles for 3 days solid which I was told was a healing symptom when you switch to hi-fat and it did subside pretty quickly) or whether the kidney stones have built up over the last 3 weeks because of my fatty Akins diet (maybe I have been eating too much yoghurt and meat, even though I don't have alot of meat and only once a day since it is full of fat and I pour lard and butter on it anyway so I don't need much meat anymore to feel full).
In summary then: have my stones built up over months and years of eating lo-fat or is it possible they have just built up over the last 3 weeks on my new diet?
You see I am worried about what I should eat to stop these stones. Have you heard of hi-fat dieters having stones and whether they are from the damage before the hi-fat diet or not?

Peter said...

Hi Bamboo,

No time for more right now but there is a full post worth doing on this. In the mean time, whichever the explanation we eventually decide on, manage yourself as a renal stone and get sorted. What you do obviously depends on the stone, some pass, some don't... The "don't pass" ones need medical intervention, no doubt about that.

More soon


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply. I will keep reporting back on my journey aswell as searching for any info on this...
The stone I passed yesterday morning was definitely a soft dark brown smooth uric stone. I know that from the research I did. It made sense of the dull (but in no way excruciating) pain in my lower back left side which I have experienced for the last week or so.

Last night I took action by eating very little protein (no meat just aubergine cooked in loads olive oil) and by drinking 4 pints of water (1 pint was lemon water before my meal - i.e. fresh lemon broken up in a pint of water). I did this because I have seen some people suggesting lemon juice and olive oil for helping kidney stones in some way (although maybe they mean the calcium ones but I did it anyway because I didn't know what to do).

This morning I have kept drinking water and I am sure the pain subsided for a few hours this morning although it seems to be back a little now.
I haven't passed anymore stones but I have noticed twinges of a bit of pain down in front so I figured they are moving or progressing or dissolving or at least some kind of action!

I suddenly thought last night about my diet changes and realised that when you eat hi-carb you consume so much more water than when on any kind of lo-carb. I was restricting calories so I ate mostly mash potato or jacket potatoes with baked beans and when you look at those foods they must have alot more liquid in than the foods I have been eating over the last 3 weeks so maybe I am just not drinking enough after going lo-carb. Hence the aubergine last night because I figured it had alot of water in it....

Anonymous said...

Anyway I am sticking with the hi fat diet for now and if the pain gets worse I will go to a doctor.

I have so much energy compared with my previous lifestyle no one but a hi-fatter would believe it! My skin is so beautiful now (I am not so pale either, makes me wonder if I was anemic), my dandruff is less and I am sure I have noticed a small improvement in my clicking knees aswell. All of this in just 3 weeks.

I think I am doing it right - I'll outline what I have:

For early lunch: 400g greek yoghurt (10pcfat,3pccarbs) either plain or with 2 teaspoons of honey. For snack in the day time a cube of cheese, maybe an apple depending on carb count.

Then for evening meal either stew (organ meats with beef with added lard with root vegetables) or roast meat (fatty lamb mostly) with a few parsnip lard chips, roast carrots and green veggies with butter on top.

Sometimes later in the evening (if I can manage it) I'd have double cream whipped, sometimes with chocolate sometimes not, on a stewed pair half or a big mug of hot chocolate made from a square of 85percent choc, single cream, sometimes a splash of double cream and a touch of Splenda sweetner.

A few times I have had fried eggs, sausage, bacon and tomatoes as my main meal instead, all cooked in lard.

I say this so anyone reading can correct me in case I am wrong. Over the 3 weeks I had one weak point where I had some chunky oven chips (nooo! bad fats and hi carbs!) but I was straight back onto the full fat greek yoghurt the day after.

Generally I am hoping to loose weight and I have been reading some comments on this blog about calorie restriction and hi fat diet etc and how eating hi fat means that you don't put weight on even though you're eating 3000+ cals a day... It sounds so encouraging to someone like me who has been hungry for as long as I can remember with the need for constant dieting.... But for me right now what is top priority is getting my body functioning normally after a decade of being on lo-fat diets. One of the first things that struck me when I changed my diet was how calm and lovely my stomach and digestion feels - I never knew that digestion could pass by without any pain and no noises of any kind!

I had a hunch over the last year or so that I might be slightly gluten intolerant, since usually I never ate cakes or bread because I was constantly dieting but on the occasions I did (like a birthday party with cake, one time where we ate pie for dinner and pie for desert at a friend's house, or a couple of times when I fell off the wagon and had chocolate pudding) I felt even more discomfort in digestion than usual.
I'm sorry Peter for leaving such long messages and please only reply to whatever you deem the most important points, but I just wanted to say my piece in case someone like me comes across this in future and can identify with it and give a hi-fat diet a go.

I am convinced my kidney stone problem is because:
a)They built up when I was on lo-fat diets and my body is cleansing me of them now I have proper nutrition
b)They built up in the last 3 weeks on my hi-fat diet because I am doing something wrong - eating something wrong or not drinking enough
c)Timing of change of diet is a coincidence - I have a predisposed kidney problem.

i.e. I don't think the kidney stone problem is because of the hi-fat diet in principle and that is why I am sticking with it, despite most of the advice for kidney stones is to avoid meat and dairy.

Anonymous said...

I've upped my diet to be more like OD (80pc fat instead of 65).

Meanwhile, pain in back subsided. No more stones have passed. Mild twinges of pain down front but not much.

Transferring to comment on this post:

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Ed, hard to reply.... cannot find your email - rather criptic. do not want to post my details either! All I can say is - i cannot guite give equal support to my arguments as I did back 4 or 5 years ago.

Ed said...

Kasha, I've set up a temporary e-mail address (I don't know why I didn't think of this before), you can reach me at Then I will reply with my real address. I assume that things have taken a turn for the worse based on your comment, but even if the results aren't great I think I would still learn from your experience, I would deeply appreciate your contact.

M said...

One of the first things that got me interested in nutrition was a documentary I watched when I was a kid. These American farmers were suffering from a mysterious disease that made them feel generally very unwell, and the most notorious symptom were these big, dark spots and long dark streaks on their skin.

An American doctor, who was apparently a pioneer in nutrition in the States, was convinced their unhealthy diet was to blame, and set about to prove it. If memory serves me, they ate to the exclusion of everything else a diet composed of pork, corn and honey. The doctor got aproval to feed this diet to inmates, and those who did stick to it (because some gave up, the diet made them feel so awful) in due time indeed developped those symptoms. Probabably the problem wasn't so much the pork, as the corn and honey...

Peter said...

Hi M,

Are you thinking about Goldberger and B3 deficiency?


M said...

That's very likely it! :)

Jaime said...

I think one thing not being considered by current medical "authorities" is the difference range fed, grass fed, naturally fed, naturally raised has on overall health. Most studies done to date are done on populations in America who consume highly processed foods, and meats that were raised with antibiotics, fed corn, and other unnatural foods. None of the studies supporting a "low fat" diet cite studies done on people eating high fat moderate protein diets. To do so would unravel all the current "knowledge". It would also throw america into a revolution for "green" foods which would collapse industrial farming.

Paul Simon said...

sabi said...

There is a business in Northern California--Prather Ranch--they have a take out restaurant and shop at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and sell at farmer's markets in the area--They've had a t-shirt for years that says "Praise the Lard"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.