Monday, October 12, 2009

SAD vs Traditional Japanese diet

Anyone reading DrBG will by now be aware that Loren Cordain might well be coming in from the cold on the saturated fat front, as a middle author of this nice perspective paper which I've yet to slog through in its entirety. This can only be good.

As always, occasional papers bring to mind studies that need discussing. The introduction to the above paper cites Marmot in this paper and this paper. I've been interested in these two papers ever since I read Dr Ravnskov's "The Cholesterol Myths" back when I found I had a TC of about 7.2mmol/l (gasp) in 2003. It's interesting for the aspects which don't get a mention, in particular the superior health benefits of the SAD compared to the traditional Japanese diet. That's right, the SAD wins.

So here's a paper request. Anyone have the two Marmot papers as pdfs?

The main conclusions are purported to be that Japanese in Japan have low levels of coronary disease. On emigration to Hawaii the incidence increases and in California it is higher still, especially in those who adopted an American lifestyle and values. However, in this later group, there is a subdivision who adopted everything American EXCEPT the diet.

On the traditional Japanese diet, with an American lifestyle, you are twice as likely to suffer heart disease than if you live the American way AND you eat at Burger King (OK, on the SAD of the 1970s).

Needless to say, I'd love to check this out, with the greatest of respect to Dr Ravnskov. Stuff this amusing just has to be seen in the bare pdf form. Copies of the two Marmot papers would be very much appreciated...



Unknown said...

Sorry Peter, I can only access that journal back to 1996...

LynneC said...

Is this it?

Aaron said...

No way in hell is the SAD better than the traditional Japanese diet.

SAD has way more polyunsaturates and protein -- both have been shown accelerate genetic damage. In my opinion, polyunsaturates are even worse than fructose. A low fat diet actually attenuates many of the negative effects of a SAD because it is super low in polyunsaturates.

I'm not going to say your diet isn't going to be good for longevity (we just don't know yet) but when I start seeing individuals in their 90s pop up who are on a super high fat and ~50 carbs a day diet. I'll start believing.

Unknown said...

the links to the two articles are identical

Echolight Studio said...

Aaron, i don't think Peter consumes too much in the way of pufas and protein., if he would combine Optimal diet macronutrient ratios with paleo principles and "clean up" the calories, he would discover nutritional nirvana!

whaddya think, Peter? ;)

Peter said...

Aaron! ! ! !

Wash your mouth out with soap and water at once. Belief is not something I would suggest you try, certainly do NOT believe me! Look at the information you have and make your own logical choice. Me, I'm going to live until I die. Whenever.

Amy, thanks for looking.

Anne, fixed.

Shel, no Nirvanas. I'll settle for getting my socks on in the mornings without even thinking about back pain and walking up hills without any thought of conditioning. That's enough and it's now.


Aaron said...

I think half the reason why I come here is to make me laugh (maybe from your responses Peter!)

In seriousness though, your blog is inciteful <--- hehe

I'd have to say that you followed up your first post well and make a pretty convincing argument for the Japanese having a worse time with CHD than Americans.

Interesting that you say your diet cured you of your back pain-- any time i've tried going low carb for months at a time, I've always had increases in back pain (but decreases in knee pain) Would this have anything to do with the fact that a low carb diet probably lowers serotonin. I always seem to be more relaxed when i consume at least 150-200 carbs a day. Maybe thats just me.

Peter said...

Aaron, the back cure was probably accidental. I went near gluten free, and pretty well starch free on Atkins induction. I can still flare the back a little with a few days higher than normal starch intake, still strictly gluten free. I also got tested for HLA B27 and am negative, but that doesn't mean I don't carry similar genes for the same predisposition. B27 is just the best known one...

Lutz does talk about immune mediated problems flaring on ultra low carb diets. He just stuck his patients on steroids for a few days if it happened! I probably removed the trigger accidentally while ultra LC-ing. For MS Lutz strictly forbids sudden ultra LC eating. I think he goes to about 100g/d and drops down from there to his preferred 70ish g/d over a few weeks.

The Japan thing is interesting. I'd read about it from Uffe's book. It seemed very, very, very unlikely that Uffe would ever misquote, being in the position he is. But it was rather nice to have the data presented so clearly. Before I got the paper I didn't know for certain what I was going to see...


ItsTheWooo said...


Like peter, paleo is just... annoying. Why isn't it good enough to not have back pain and to feel better than ever (like peter does)? Why do you have to spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not your food obey some made up useless rules about how humans are "supposed to eat"? It's like autistic or something.

I don't eat exactly like peter, but I feel best eating high fat (60+%) and low carb (<60g) and not overdoing hte protein (80g is probably best for me, I feel like crap when I eat more than this by much, but when I eat 60 or less I'm hungry).
I don't have as much hypoglycemia.
My moods are as best as they are ever going to be without drugs.
I don't have symptoms of PCOS.
I'm not a fatty and I find it reasonably possible to maintain a normal weight (and on leptin it is not even an effort, I feel naturally thin and easily stay at the very low end of normal).

I do this eating atkins bars and low carb ice cream and chocolate and even cereal and almond milk. I don't eat crap that makes me feel bad, like coconut or a lot of meat, even if "paleos" tell me I should. I eat wheat bread, it doesn't seem to bother me at all. I eat dairy in moderation (too much of this can bother).

Are we trying to meet some psychological/religious ideal or are we trying to feel good? Me, I know it's the latter. I dont' want to be a fatty, I don't want to be hypoglycemic, I don't want PCOS symptoms, I don't want to be nonfunctionally depressed and have rages. I'm accomplishing these goals.

ItsTheWooo said...

Re Aaron's aches and pains... yep you are probably right, it is a serotonin/endorphin thing. A lot of people have that reaction.

I suggest not trying to eat a lot of protein when you LC. Keep your protein exactly the same, instead eat from butter and cream and olive oil and nuts. People who get mood issues on low carb f*ck their CNS endorphins and serotonin by eating too much protein. For me, this will PREDICTIBLY result in one of a few situations:

1) Angry, angry, angry, rageful, miserable, nauseated (if my baseline energy is high/hyper)
2) Chaotic, out of control, hysterical, impulsive, feel real crazy (if I am a little depressed, it adds BAD energy to it)
3) Paradoxically, if I already feel very bad in that crazy/chaotic or angry way, sometimes eating a lot of protein can help... but I think this is just an effect of binging in general, as binging (eating a crapheap) stimulates the vagus nerve which is like pressing a button on a morphine pump.
It woudl probably be more effective if I didn't do it with protein and used cream/nuts instead, actually. LOL.


Point is, don't blame low carb for your moods. Blame high protein plus low carb. Amino acids will totally mess that up, it literally stops tryptophan from being synthesized into serotonin which in turn affects endorphin level thus depression. Insulin sorta blocks this tendency because it keeps the preference toward tryptophan by lowering other amino acids in the blood, but when you aren't binging on carbs, you really gotta watch the protein level if you don't want to end up feeling like crap.

Another option is to use 5-htp as HS. Ohhh I love me a 5-htp pill. It's like a mini percocet, and you feel so calm when you wake up. I use it every other day to avoid tolerance (and if I use it daily it stops working, I get zombied and sorta dopa suppressed, and then when I stop using it I have all anxiety and activation from withdrawal... but using it every other day avoids this problem and I get to look forward to my "5-htp day").