The FDA recently claimed that some advertisers of “Lap Band” weight loss surgeries were not properly disclosing the many dangers of the procedure.
It is a total mystery to me why anyone would accept the risks of surgery if they had any alternative. Why anybody would accept mutilation, internal scarring, and the insertion of a foreign device into their bodies. To have this done for the purpose of losing weight is incomprehensible to me.
But it is supposed to be so hard to lose weight, and to keep the weight off. And weight loss surgeries like gastric bypasses and the “Lap Band” are supposed to make it easy.
But there is a much safer and ultimately easier way that will work for most people. A way that was in common use before World War II, from a time when obesity was very rare. A way that is simple and effective. This is the “secret” that was commonly used in the early twentieth century, with great success—eat a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Weight Loss Before
Before animal fat was demonized by the completely discredited “lipid hypothesis,” there was no massive diet industry. There were no surgeries for weight loss. There was very little obesity. If somebody wanted to lose weight, the common medical response was to prescribe a low-carb, high-fat diet. This was so effective in achieving weight loss that obesity was not a problem. And people did not suffer from malnourishment with such a diet, as grassfed animal fat is one of the most nutrient-dense substances on Earth.
The food at that time was also different. There was much less processed food. Meat was always grassfed and grass-finished. While there was far too much sugar in the diets of many people, going on a low-carb, high-fat diet would remove the sugar-heavy foods and the carbohydrate-rich foods. People who went on the low-carb, high-fat diet would usually eat large amounts of pastured animal fats such as butter, lard, beef tallow, and fatty meats, from animals that were grassfed and pastured. The fat of grassfed animals is rich in CLA, a nutrient that actually reduces body fat. It was not hard for most people to stay on such a diet, because the animal fats are so satisfying.
Weighing too much was simply not a problem for most people, and when it was a problem, there was an easy solution that worked for almost everybody.
And there was no market for a huge diet industry.
Obesity started to become a huge problem after World War II. The fear of cholesterol was created, and eating fat was identified with consuming cholesterol. Animals in the U.S. were finished in feedlots, a practice that resulted in the animal losing almost all the CLA in its meat and fat. Doctors stopped prescribing the low-carb, high-fat diets that had been so effective in the past, because of the fear of animal fat. People ate more and more high-carbohydrate, processed foods, more sugar, and more food additives. At the same time, they greatly reduced their consumption of animal fats and greatly increased their consumption of vegetable oils that could only be made with modern technology.
The result? Americans became fatter, and fatter, and fatter. The diet industry was born.
Weight Loss Now
You would think that something would have been learned about the fact that high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets make people fat, after decades of experience. And you would be right. Unfortunately, one of the things that was learned is that such a diet would make huge numbers of people fat, and that a fortune could be made by keeping them fat and giving them weight loss programs that would provide only temporary relief. Thus, we have a multi-billion-dollar diet industry, a segment of the medical industry that “treats” obesity, and millions of suffering people who are exploited by these industries.
Millions of people starve themselves, and exercise themselves into exhaustion as they follow these programs and get advice from medical professionals, in a desperate attempt to lose weight. Most people who lose weight, after much effort, suffering, and expense, gain it back, and the whole horrible cycle starts again.
This has led to the creation of “weight loss” surgical procedures, which promise an easy way to keep weight off. Two of the most popular are gastric bypasses and “Lap Bands.”
A gastric bypass actually involves stapling the stomach, and rerouting the food digestion so the small intestine is avoided. Normally, all food passes through the small intestine, which is crucial to digestion. This make it impossible for the body to function properly in digesting food, which leads to weight loss.
A “Lap Band” involves the surgical, interior attachment of an inflatable belt around the stomach. The belt constricts the size of the stomach, so it cannot expand to hold more food to digest. This makes it impossible for the stomach to function properly in digesting food, which also leads to weight loss.
Both of these procedures have many risks and a high chance of serious side effects, which often lead to more surgeries to try to correct the problems that arise.
My own personal experience has convinced me that the best way to deal with almost any body issue is to strengthen the natural functions of the body, by eating a nourishing traditional diet, full of foods rich in pastured animal fat. Surgeries that interfere with and disable the natural functions of the body are something that I would never agree to.
If weight is the issue, the low-carb, high-fat diet is tried and true. It is important to eat only real food and grassfed meats when you are on such a diet, as those were the foods available when the diet was common and obesity was rare.
I am not giving medical advice, just writing about how things were done and about my own experience. If you have a medical issue, you should consult a medical professional, preferably one who treats each patient as an individual and is open to new ideas.
There are many such diets, with the Atkins diet being the most famous. The book “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” by Sally Fallon Morell, describes an effective high-fat diet, using a Weston A. Price perspective. My friend Jimmy Moore is devoted to providing information on low-carb, high-fat diets, and there is a ton of useful information on his website, Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Blog. Jimmy will also answer questions about the subject by email.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
The new dietary guidelines issued by the United States government are a disgrace. These “guidelines” recommend large quantities of high-carb foods that can make people fat and sick, while practically banning the traditional animal fats we need for our bodies to function properly. The new guidelines were once again shown graphically in a new “food pyramid.” This new pyramid should be turned upside down, as all its recommendations are backwards. We need animal fats and proteins, not processed carbohydrates.
These new guidelines are simply a more extreme version of the previous guidelines. The previous guidelines were a miserable failure, as Americans got considerably fatter and sicker. The old guidelines did result in a huge increase in profits for the processed food industry, the diet industry, the drug companies, and the medical profession, and maybe that was the point.
Whatever the reason, the bureaucrats ignored a mountain of evidence and studies provided by the real food movement and low-carb advocates, including the Weston A. Price Foundation, many other organizations and scientists, and my friend Jimmy Moore. Kimberly Hartke has an index of testimony by many experts, including Sally Fallon Morell: USDA Dietary Guidelines Controversy. Here is a link to Jimmy’s excellent testimony on the subject: Having My Say. The testimony showed the harmful effects of the previous food guidelines. Overwhelming scientific evidence was presented to show that people need animal fats and proteins to function properly, and a wide variety of foods, while grains and carbohydrates should be limited. The evidence showed that processed foods and sugar in all its forms should be severely limited. None of this evidence appeared to make any difference to the Dietary Guidelines Committee.
The Weston A. Price Foundation has published its own set of Dietary Guidelines, which are based on science, not profit. My rejection of the new government guidelines inspired me to create some new high-fat, low-carb recipes that could be used as side dishes in place of high-carb foods like pasta and potatoes. This recipe meets my standards, since three of its four ingredients are practically banned by the new government guidelines, as they are rich in animal fats. It is also delicious, and goes well with any meat. This recipe also makes a nice breakfast.
Cheese Eggs with Onions and Butter
4 tablespoons pastured butter
1 medium organic onion, sliced
1 cup full fat natural cheese of your choice, chopped into small pieces, (cheddar and Havarti are very good with this dish)
4 organic eggs, with the yolks, beaten with a whisk or a fork until many small bubbles appear
1. Heat the butter over medium heat in a 10 inch pan, preferably cast iron. When the butter is melted, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes.
2. Add the cheese to the eggs and mix well. Pour the mixture over the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover, and cook until the eggs have set, about 5 minutes.
Serve with the grassfed meat of your choice, or enjoy for breakfast.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Dr. Robert Atkins is credited (or blamed) for creating the low-carb diet. But Dr. Atkins was not the first to advocate a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet for losing weight.
The father of medicine was also the father of low-carb. Hippocrates of Kos, the most famous and honored doctor of all time, known as the “Father of Medicine” was the first to advocate a low-carb diet for losing weight.
Who Was Hippocrates?
Hippocrates was born in the middle of the fifth century before Christ. He revolutionized the practice of medicine in ancient Greece. At that time, there was a conflict in Greek medicine. There was a division between those doctors who relied on aggressive, dangerous treatments like drugs and surgery (yes, the ancient Greeks used both), and those who saw illness as a punishment from the gods and advocated religious means for healing. Hippocrates created a new path for healing.
Hippocrates studied his patients by observing them, taking careful notes, and using his experience to diagnose their conditions. His approach was centered on strengthening the patient through food, exercise, and rest, so the patient’s body could heal itself. Some other techniques used to strengthen the body included massage, inhaling various fragrances, soft music, relaxation, even gentle conversation designed to help calm the patient, and other similar techniques.
Hippocrates taught that it was more important to know the patient’s body and how to strengthen it, than to know the disease the patient had. Hippocrates taught that the body had the power to heal any illness, if the natural processes were properly supported.
The Hippocratic way of healing always started with diet and exercise. Only if those did not work was medication used. The use of medication was stopped when the patient was well enough to respond to diet and exercise. Surgery was the last resort. The doctor was instructed that every patient was a unique individual, and treatment had to be designed for each particular patient. This was the total opposite of today’s “same treatment for the same disease for everybody” approach.
Hippocrates taught that the patient should be treated with kindness, respect, love, and understanding, and knew that a person’s mental attitude had a great deal to do with the healing process.
Hippocrates believed that aggressive medical treatment could do great harm to the patient, and said that the most important rule for the physician was, “First, do no harm.”
Why Was Hippocrates Considered the Greatest Doctor of All Time?
Hippocrates was considered the greatest doctor of all time, because he was so successful in treating illness. While he did not cure everybody, he cured so many that he became recognized as the greatest and most successful doctor of antiquity, perhaps of all time.
Hippocrates became particularly famous when he was credited with stopping the great plague that hit Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Athens was under siege, with large numbers of people and animals crowded together. All food had to be brought in by sea, and there was a shortage of fresh food. A terrible plague broke out, killing thousands. The drugs and treatments of the conventional doctors proved useless, as did trying to appease the Greek gods. Hippocrates and his followers came to Athens to try to cure the plague, as it was feared that this terrible disease would wipe out Athens and threaten the very survival of the rest of Greece.
Diet and exercise would not work here, as the victims of the plague were too sick to keep food down, or to exercise. Hippocrates carefully observed the situation. He noticed that the only group of people not affected by the plague were the blacksmiths and their workers. Hippocrates noted that the blacksmiths spent a great deal of time around burning fires, and often drank warm water that had been brought to a boil, since they were always around hot fires. Hippocrates gave these instructions to the people of Athens:
- They were to light large fires in every home, and keep them burning.
- All corpses were to be burned completely.
- All water was to be boiled before drinking.
The people of Athens followed his prescription, and the plague soon ended.
I should mention that modern doctors and historians call this a legend, refusing to believe that an ancient physician could cure the plague. After all, he had no modern drugs or antibiotics. Any end to the plague must have been a coincidence that had nothing to do with Hippocrates. But the people who were actually there gave credit to Hippocrates, and considered him the greatest doctor in the world.
How to Lose Weight—“Let the Foods Be Rich”
Hippocrates lived in a time when many people were fat, and wanted to lose weight. He said: “People who wish to become thin should let the foods be rich.”
Hippocrates believed that a diet consisting of rich foods would satisfy the appetite, giving the body what it needed so the patient would not eat too much. “Rich food” in his day meant the fat from grassfed animals and pigs, fatty cheeses, and fatty meats. By limiting his patients to the rich foods, he was putting them on a low-carb diet, a diet that was very similar to the one advocated by Dr. Atkins, 2500 years later!
Hippocrates also cautioned doctors to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to weight loss. He stated that each patient had a natural weight that was ideal for that person. The goal was to reach the degree of thinness that the patient’s body would support, and maintain naturally with a good diet.
By advocating that each patient reach the level of thinness that was right for them, Hippocrates rejected the idea that every person must reach the same degree of thinness. The modern idea of identical thinness for everyone has caused so much pain and misery, causing the horrible cycle of drastic weight loss followed by drastic weight gain that is so common today. This horrible cycle is repeated by person after person, resulting in huge profits for the diet industry.
It should be noted that Hippocrates prescribed various diets to help sick people. Sometimes he would prescribe a diet that contained carbs, and sometimes he would put a patient on an all-barley diet for a short period, but not for weight loss. As always, he customized his treatment to the individual patient.
Some of the quotes from Hippocrates really show his philosophy, and are completely consistent with the alternative doctors of today:
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.”
“Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot, if you can cure the patient with food.”
“Walking is man’s best medicine.”
The Hippocratic Oath
Hippocrates is famous for establishing a code of ethics for the medical profession, which was embodied in an oath he wrote for all physicians to take.
There was a time when all Western doctors took the oath, though many did not honor it. The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath does not even resemble the oath written by Hippocrates, and is completely different.
To me, the most important part of the original Hippocratic Oath is stated in this paragraph:
“I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability, and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.”
In other words, doctors used to take an oath to heal with diet! Not drugs, radiation, or surgery, but diet.
Hippocrates and the Research of Dr. Weston A. Price
The healing approach of Hippocrates, based on a healthy diet that supports the natural functioning of the body, is completely consistent with the findings of Dr. Weston A. Price.
Dr. Weston A. Price studied a number of healthy peoples who ate the diet of their ancestors. All of these peoples followed the Hippocratic method of using diet to support the natural functions of their bodies. All of these peoples were completely free of the chronic diseases that plague the modern world. All of these peoples ate a diet that was much higher in animal and fish fat, and much lower in carbs than modern diets. And all of these peoples were in great physical shape, with obesity being unknown.
Dr. Robert Atkins, the founder of the modern low-carb diet, had been demonized, vilified, and heavily criticized. His critics constantly claimed that his findings had no support in science or history. They were wrong, as the greatest physician of all time, Hippocrates of Kos, also prescribed a low-carb diet for losing weight, using very much the same approach as Dr. Atkins.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Very few people think of grassfed meat and fat as a diet food. But eating grassfed meat and fat can satisfy your appetite so you eat less, stop your body from storing fat, and get your body to start burning fat. Grassfed meat and fat also give you many vital nutrients that you might not otherwise get while dieting. Most of the nutrients are in the fat. To paraphrase the title of one of my favorite books, you eat fat to lose fat. But it must be the right kind of fat—grassfed.
Where is the Fat?
The fat in meat is in two places, the exterior fat, which can be seen as a distinct slab on the top or side of the meat, and the interior fat, which is actually in the meat itself, often visible as small white specks (sometimes referred to as marbling).
Grassfed Meat is Different than Other Meat
The actual composition of grassfed meat is very different from that of conventional meat. Conventional meat has been fed large amounts of grain and other substances which are not the natural food of grassfed animals. This creates many changes in the meat, only some of which are known. For example, conventional beef fat has a much lower ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than grassfed beef fat. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in conventional beef fat is often 1-20. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in grassfed beef fat ranges from 1-1 to 1-4. Conventional meat did not exist prior to the 20th century. Grassfed meat has been nourishing humanity for uncounted thousands of years.
The Benefits of CLA
CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, has many benefits for someone who is trying to lose weight, as well as everyone else. CLA is abundant in the fat and meat of grassfed animals, and is easily absorbed in this form, making it available for your body to use.
- CLA normalizes thyroid function, so your thyroid produces substances which help normalize your weight, while avoiding the weight gain which often results from hyperthyroidism.
- CLA increases your metabolic rate, so your body burns more calories.
- CLA actually signals your body to stop storing fat, and to start burning it.
- CLA increases muscle mass while decreasing fat.
- CLA decreases abdominal fat.
Grassfed Meat and Fat Satisfy Your Hunger by Nourishing Your Body
One of the hardest things for anybody on a diet is to eat less, or to give up foods that you are used to eating. The constant hunger can make it very difficult to lose weight. The main reason for most hunger is very simple. The body is not getting the nutrients it needs, so it wants to keep eating until it has what it needs. The problem is that modern foods do not contain all the nutrients your body needs, so eating them does not satisfy hunger.
Grassfed meat and fat are nutrient-dense, containing many of the nutrients we know about, such as vitamins D and A, most B vitamins, vitamin E, many minerals, most amino acids, the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, and high quality protein. Grassfed meat and fat also contain nutrients which have not yet been discovered, but which your body still needs. Your body is ready, willing and able to absorb the nutrients in grassfed meat, as your ancestors have been eating this meat for thousands of years and longer.
Grassfed meat is much denser and less watery, and it satisfies. When you eat a properly cooked serving of grassfed meat and fat, your body is nourished, you are satisfied, and the hunger disappears. I eat about half as much meat since I switched to grassfed, and I am satisfied. When my hunger is satisfied, I lose all desire to eat.
Grassfed meat and fat can really help any dieter, especially the low carb dieter, as grassfed meat and fat are allowed on such diets.
A very good book on weight loss is Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD. Two great books that really support the low-carb dieter are: LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOW-CARB: My Journey From Flabby Fat to Sensationally Skinny in One Year and 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: How The Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew by Jimmy Moore.