Saturday, August 29, 2020

Ultra processed food (2) Haub vs Hall

I’ve taken this post down. With the information that Haub specifically restricted calories none of it makes any sense, however you discuss around the edges. Apologies to anyone who as been embarrassed, if it’s any consolation it has been much worse for myself!



Rich Collins said...

Is the incretin effect really that unimportant to satiety?

Peter said...


Dunno, that's at a far higher level of control than I am interested in, so undoubtedly others will have far more of an idea. But the ETC controls insulin, which controls calorie ingress/partition. Quirks of the augmentation/blunting of insulin signalling are un-interesting compared to what goes on at the ETC level. A bit like leptin. I find leptin boring.


raphi said...

Hi Rich,

Satiety is an abused concept. What I mean is that people purport to use it to explain behaviors but what they tend to do is engage in post-hoc rationalizations.

Satiety, as a concept, doesn't do well alone and is best mentioned alongside satiation.

It's unclear how incretins affect satiety, as the context seems to important to pin down hard and fast rules yet.

Incretins are really important and well understood in terms of how they affect insulin signaling. However, they're in no way more important in obesity than insulin action itself.

cavenewt said...

Raphi: "Satiety, as a concept, doesn't do well alone and is best mentioned alongside satiation."

I could use a little help on the distinction here, since the dictionary indicates they're pretty much the same thing. Biologically maybe there's a difference…?

raphi said...

Hi cavenewt,

Satiation = putting the fork down (what happens at some point during your meal)

Satiety = not wanting to start eating again (9am breakfast doesn't lead to an 11am snack)

Understanding the difference explains why the Volumetrics approach to dieting is nonsense. That approach uses low-calorie density foods (e.g. fibrous greens) to mechanically stretch your stomach and so induce satiation. However, those foods do nothing for your satiety (or your basic micronutrient needs) and thus fails miserably. Astonishingly, it's making somewhat of a comeback in the low-carb sphere of all places, with people recommending we avoid energy dense foods (i.e. fat).

Rich said...

Great post, Peter. I was watching a Nick Lane talk last night and he expressed similar feelings. Ie what is the point of we don't understand the origins.

Raphi, that is an important distinction. Thanks for clarifying.

raphi said...

Hi Peter, i think Haub calorie restricted/counted his calories, did i miss something where he said he didn’t or felt like he was eating to appetite?

Lucas Tafur said...

Hi Peter,

“ An Ultra Processed, more-or-less junk food diet allowing 12kg of overall weight loss in two months, while eating to appetite. That's a lot of weight loss. A lot of calories not consumed.”

This is incorrect. He restricted his calories to 1800 daily:

“ For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.”

He didn’t eat to “satiety”.

I quickly ran the numbers of a diet like that on Cronometer and it gives me 22g or 11% of total energy from PUFA. Is this low or high PUFA? Either way, it doesn’t matter because your assertion (that he ate to satiety) is false.

Lucas Tafur said...

I actually found a sample day of his diet:

“ September 10, 2010: A double espresso; two servings of Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake; one Centrum Advance Formula “From A To Zinc” pill; one serving of Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies; a Diet Mt. Dew drink; half a serving of Doritos Cool Ranch corn chips; two servings of Kellogg’s Corn Pops cereal; a serving of whole milk; half a serving of raw baby carrots; one and a half servings of Duncan Hines Family Style Chewy Fudge brownie; half a serving of Little Debbie Zebra Cake; one serving of Muscle Milk Protein Shake drink; Total: 1589 calories.”

Ran through Cronometer and it gives me a little bit more calories but 21.5% of calories as omega 6 and 33% as total PUFA. Definitely not a low PUFA diet!

Peter said...

Hi Lucas, I’ve been through the manufacturers' labels combined with the portion sizes in the quote you have provided, just for the foods which contain a significant amount of fat. I’ve put it up as a picture at the start of the post because there is no way to keep it neat in a comment.

Given total fat and saturated fat, as is routine on food labels, the foods described look to come out around 30g of non-saturated fat. This is 270kcal out of 1800kcal so this would be in the ball park of 15% mixed PUFA and MUFA. The shake has almost no PUFA, the Doritos provide mostly PUFA. The total PUFA amount from the Twinkies is very much portion related. One serving is two cakes, two servings would be four. I’ve assumed the latter. Overall, if you assume 50% of the non-saturated fats are PUFA this gives around 7-8% and would fit well with needing to restrict calories.


karl said...

I think chain length matters.

I have a problem with PUFA as a single thing - it isn't. LA I remember - I think I remember - could be that it makes different decay products than other fatty-acids - and we may not have evolved to detect them as smells (never needed to up to now).

I don't remember where - and Google isn't helping - but I seem to remember that the rancid smell is from aldehydes - ketones - carboxylic-acids..

--- time passes - several attempts at Google-foo later ---

Still no joy - but when C18 is involved - I think I remember our nose isn't helping us?

Depending on evolved reactions to smells may not work with artificial fats(concentrated seed oils) - we did not evolve eating such foods - no reason to detect some of these smells..

I think the dead-tissue smell is from shorter chains. Some products smell good.

The people selling the artificial animal fat substitute did/do a lot of work on this - the popular definition of an antioxidants is about food storage - not what happens in vivo. (bits that are real - in vivo antioxidants look to be bad for health. If they are putting some substance in the oils that prevents it from spoiling - are those substances good for health? Don't know.. Refining veg oils is partly about removing smells.

If you come up with food that doesn't spoil - how likely is it good for us?

Anyway - I don't remember if these are free fatty acids as trigly or not spoil as commonly used in junk food - I think there is a lot of LA in CIAB. They may be adding "essential oils" as preservatives?

Anyway - it has crossed my mind that they are selling the idea of these storage antioxidants as 'health foods' so people won't think to much when they see them listed in oil products.

Last thought - will the lockdown reduce consumption of LA? Will people lose weight?

BillyHW said... is awesome.

raphi said...

added Twitter context.

Mark Haub: "Yes, limited intake to no more than 1,800 kcal/day. Twinkies then (I think) were 10% larger than those sold now. Granted, I ate very few of them - I ate more Nutty Bars, sugary lattes, frosty flake-like cereal (w/ whole milk), etc."

Passthecream said...

Peter, this reminds me of the potato diet, plain boiled potatoes plus a little olive oil wasn't it? And after a short while on that regime weight reportedly started to drop rapidly. So if even the hint of l.a. in that diet was replaced with butter or dripping ie a diet of good quality mashed potatoes then what???

Boil the potatoes in milk, mash 'em up with butter and watch the blood sugar fly, oh my!

Lucas Tafur said...

Hi Peter,

We get similar results. From the Cronometer data, which splits everything, I get:


65g fat
of which
MUFA 14.5g
PUFA 21.5g
SFA 19.4g

(the rest is probably due to not all entries reporting the specific amounts).

Energy-wise, this gives 10.3% of PUFA.

So overall, your post doesn't make much sense as the Twinkie diet is not low in PUFA and wasn't eaten to satiety.

I agree with the last part regarding the WFPB diet being low in PUFA and the reason for spontaneous decrease in calorie intake. It is actually similar to my current diet (wrt PUFA): high carb-high protein-low fat (20ish%, low PUFA).

raphi said...

More Twitter context.

Me: thanks Mark. what do you think of the idea that certain fats partition energy differently into various bodily tissues (e.g. fat vs muscle)?

Mark Haub: I think it is plausible, but driven (?%) by metabolic state (substrate availability-affected endocrine/paracrine system). My focus has been more with protein/CHO than lipids at this point. Definitely concede to the Tim Carrs and other lipid metabolism experts.

ctviggen said...

So, was Haub's diet test to "prove" that only calories matter? I find these unconvincing, because I personally want to (1) eat until I'm not hungry, (2) eat fewer meals per day, (3) not count calories, and (4) eat food I think (hope?) will give me most or all of everything I need to survive. Without a diet being ad libitum, it doesn't fit with what I'm trying to achieve.

One of the reasons I quit a Pritikin style diet a long time ago was because I was constantly hungry. I know the theory is that it's possible to eat very low fat and not be hungry, but if I ate hot cereal (oats, malto-meal, etc.) for breakfast, I was hungry 15 minutes later. Same with pasta. But that might be because of my own poor glucose control, as I found by using a GCM for a year. From that perspective, meat = zero blood sugar rise; many high carb products = very high blood sugar rise.

Tucker Goodrich said...

"If you wish to produce something which resembles food but will sit on a convenience store shelf for a few months you will not want to use any component "rich" in linoleic acid. The "Product" will go rancid."

Peter, you've fallen into the trap of being rational! LOL

I've looked into rancidity and n-6 in processed foods. One of the benefits of n-6 is that not only do people not find rancid n-6 to be repulsive (imagine a potato fried in fish oil and then stored), but they actually prefer the taste of rancid, HNE-rich n-6 fats.

Doritos, for instance, are fried in seed oils and people will eat them happily forever.

"Neither self experimenter/author has any idea about what they are doing. Their chance of comprehension is zero."

I've talked to Hall a lot on twitter. About seed oils in his experiments, and the short-comings of isocaloric experiments, and he's altered some of his protocols after our discussions, and started working with some LC MDs at my prompting.

He's a smart guy, he's certainly capable of understanding this stuff, and he's very interested in finding out the truth.

Haub I spoke to once also (can't remember the context) and he's also smart, but dogmatic in the bad sense.

karl said...

Could have been something you wrote about I remember? Or was it something Nina Teicholz wrote?

Seems there were PUFA fats (LA) that "didn't spoil" -- except -- they did - just didn't smell? Targeted for long shelf-life junk foods?

I know there is research where they have been quietly changing the antioxidants in oils - food shelf life etc. Refining plant oils is about removing things that might be detected by humans.

So the question is do Doritos not stink because of the oil used (non detectable end products) or is there some additive? How much magic schmoo antioxidant can they add without listing it as an ingredient?

Connected memory - when McDs changed to franken-oils for french-fries - I talked to a clean up worker - they had serious problems with formation of hard to clean varnish. No mention of smell.

The collected oils from real food spoils and smells bad. I remember as a boy having to dump barrels of restaurant drippings from a steak house - really nasty. Real food spoils and smells bad.

Tucker Goodrich said...

Doritos don't stink because oxidized n-6 linoleic acid doesn't stink to human noses. It smells a little stale, but it's not unpleasant like a rotten fish (oxidized n-3 fats).

I presume this is because n-6 was previously a rare fat, and therefore we didn't need a specific detector for toxicity.

Passthecream said...

There was a take-away here who used to fry everything in food grade linseed oil and you could smell that two hundred metres away so something in it is unpleasant if not the linoleic. It is a vaguely fishy smell so the a-l-a perhaps? Not a smell I like, cooked or uncooked but in some places people pour it on their quark for extra flavour.

So rats eat soap and that would turn back into ffa in an acidic stomach environment, whereas people eat varnish.

Peter said...

Lucas and all,

I agree the post doesn't make sense and the temptation is very strong to simply take it down in its entirety but there is enough in the way of interesting comments that this is also a difficult option. I'm still undecided and am tempted towards taking it down. That would be a first for me (for previous errors I've simply edited in an error warning without changing the basic text). I've never gone back and subtly edited out mistakes...

Still thinking about it.


M said...

I look forward to your critique of the NHS's Newcastle Diet... although one could say your entire blog is one long indictment against it.

LA_Bob said...

Hello, M

I googled NHS Newcastle diet. The first hit takes me to here.

It's a glowing article about a Lancet study of diabetes remission in people starving themselves for a few months. Yeah, I'm sure Peter will be a fan.

The last two sentences of the article?

"A low carb diet of real unprocessed food is another promising approach to reversing diabetes that enables lasting weight loss and represents a more pleasurable way to eat.

"For more information about eating a low carb diet, check out our Low Carb Program."

Ricardo said...

I have a small question that is off topic, but which concerns me directly. I am male, 49 years old, and for the past year I have been suffering from diastolic heart failure of unknown origin (no hypertension, no diabetes, BMI of 19). The doctors have strongly advised me against a ketogenic diet, as I am already somewhat cachexic. Excuse my English, Peter, but I am writing to you from the German part of Switzerland. I have been reading you for years.

cavenewt said...

This is off-topic, but all the vitamin D posts appear to be over 10 years old.

Peter Attia has a pretty good critique of a recent vitamin D/depression RCT. With some good tips for reading RCTs in general.

Puddleg said...

This seems as good a place as any to drop this idea -

as far as I can see, the level of l-carnitine in the lean tissues of an animal closely correlates with the proportion of SFA in the fat of that animal.
Is l-carnitine synthesis driven specifically by the amount of SFA requiring oxidation? (perhaps because other fats can avoid the carnitine shuttle in various way?)

Also, some really cool theories about hydrogen selenide as an antiviral oxidant and as the fourth gasotransmitter, and a note on the synthesis of selenocysteine from selenide in humans,

The sweet spot seems to be 100-200mcg/day with a risk of insulin resistance at 300 mcg-day