Just a bunch of odds and ends, none of which is worth an entire post.
Low-carb gains a foothold.
First, I’ll start off with the good news, then I’ll finish with the bad.
I took the photo above yesterday at Raley’s, a giant supermarket (and I mean giant) in Incline Village, NV. There were no signs promoting low-fat foods anywhere in the store. I took this to be a sign that enough customers were looking for low-carb foods and had asked for help that management decided to make the low-carb section (there really is one) easier to find. I take this as a positive sign.
We’ve been skiing with the kids and grandkids, all of whom have come to town for spring break. We’ve had a blast, but family commitments have kept me from attending to this blog as much as I usually do. Family commitments along with a few snafus, more about which later. The picture below is from the top of a foggy ski run overlooking Lake Tahoe. It was taken Monday when the weather was less than optimal. Fortunately, it has improved since.
Airline/Expedia cautionary tale
One set of kids and grandkids flew in from Dallas and had a disastrous experience, which I want to relate in the hope of perhaps preventing it for some of you readers. The tickets for this trip were purchased long ago through Expedia and were on US Air from Dallas through Phoenix to Reno. When purchased, the confirmation had seat assignments for all four of the passengers. Our son and fam arrived at the airport about an hour and a half early and went through the automated boarding pass machines. The boarding passes that were issued them had no seats listed. When my son went to the counter to speak with an actual human, he was told there were no seat assignments because his entire family had been bumped from the flight. When he showed her the Expedia confirmation complete with seat assignments, she told him that Expedia travelers got bumped first. She also told him that it was the airlines policy to overbook by about 20 percent, which almost never caused a problem because of cancellations and no shows. She said that the only two times this didn’t hold was over Christmas and Spring break weeks, the only time, she said, that she really hated her job. It would seem to me that the airlines would realize this and maybe not oversell the flights during these periods, but that’s just me. I’m not an airline decision maker, but it seems pretty obvious. Especially since they had to fork over four free flights on US Air and a bunch of meal vouchers.
The fam was booked on a later flight, and, of course, had no seats together. So they had to fight that fight in order for a parent to be able to sit with each kid. Same thing on the flight to Reno. The kids got to the airport early in the day, waited around, and finally got to Reno at about 10:30 PM (midnight thirty for them and a long, long day for two little boys). The other part of the fam came into the Reno airport as well, and we had it timed so that everyone got in at about the same time. This airline fiasco caused a huge logistics problem for the family Eades, but we made it through it.
The moral of the story is to not book through Expedia and expect all to go smoothly, especially during busy times. The son involved called the airline and made sure they had confirmed seats on the way home. If you book with Expedia, I would recommend you do the same.
I use Expedia or Travelocity to find the least expensive flights and best routes between destinations, then I go directly to the airline site to reserve. It’s usually a little less expensive than Expedia or Travelocity, and I am confirmed with the airline directly.
Blog info and snafus
There are a few blog issues I need to deal with. First, I performed the much-loathed task of going through the stacked up spam caught by the spam filter and found about a dozen comments lodged therein. I don’t know why they got caught – they didn’t have a bunch of links embedded, which is usually what trips them up. I don’t know why the spam filter got them, but it did. If you have had a comment over the past week or so that has remained unposted, you’re probably one of the victims. I’ll get to them all soon.
Another thing I discovered, to my great chagrin, is that I have about 500 emails in my Gmail account from readers of this blog. A couple of years ago I hired a blog consultant to help make my blog better. The installed Feedburner to allow readers to sign up for the blog in their Google or other readers. It also allowed people to sign up to receive the blog via email. What I didn’t realize is that the blog came to those who signed up under my Gmail address. Many people simply hit reply and sent me a comment or a question about the blog – much as others do in the comment section. Problem is I never read my Gmail mail. I have it as a repository for all my emails, which I have forwarded from my regular email address. I keep all the emails in the Gmail account so that I will have them all in one place since I use so many computers. I want to have them in case I ever need them. But I never read them in Gmail. When I heard from someone that he had been trying to contact me numerous times and hadn’t gotten a response, I asked how he had been trying. He said through Gmail. When I went to the account and searched, I found hundreds of people who had done the same. I fixed the situation so that readers can’t simply hit reply. I can’t possibly deal with all those emails that are already there, so if you have been waiting for an answer, you had better resubmit through the comments section. Sorry for all the hassle.
Out of control taxation and regulation
The above sign affixed to the restroom door of the Squeeze In, my favorite breakfast restaurant in Truckee, CA is a symptom of the disease of a government run by Democrats allowed to go wild. If you are interested in seeing what the country would look like after many years of an unopposed Democratic government, you have to go no further than California. Due to a bipartisan gerrymandering over the past few years making basically all state legislative offices non-competitive, the Democrats have controlled the state government. And they’ve never come across a regulation or tax they didn’t like. (I’m sure that in Republican-dominated states there would be problems, too, but as far as I know, there isn’t a Republican-dominated state.) Not only does California tax and regulate the bejesus out of anything it can, it aggressively enforces all these taxes and regulations. Which brings me to the sign on the door at the Squeeze In. If a California regulator were to walk in to the restroom at this restaurant and find writing on the wall, there would be a fine. Which isn’t really a fine, but is a shakedown. When the state needs money, the regulators are on the prowl. Let me explain what I mean.
I have a friend who works as a consultant for many different industries. He recently had a gig working for a financial institution with offices all over California. One of the California regulations is that the lettering on the signs in these facilities giving the interest rates must be two inches high. Regulators recently did a savage burn on all these facilities throughout the state, descending upon them with rulers in hand. They measured the height of the letters and found in multiple instances that the letters were from 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch short. They then levied fines of almost two million dollars. These institutions then had to hire a legal team to do battle with the state, which ultimately reduced the fines to about $150,000. This was a shakedown for money pure and simple. It may as well have been Tony Soprano.
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and has no (none, zero) Fortune 50 companies headquartered there. Why? Because of the outrageous tax situation. Why do business there and deal with all the tax and regulatory nonsense California slings out when you could headquarter your offices in Texas, where the population is growing by about 1,000 people per day? And those people ain’t going there for the weather, let me tell you. I’ve spent a lot of time in one other high-tax state, that being Massachusetts. But there, people have learned to deal with it by creating and underground cash-based economy. I can’t tell you how many businesses we ran into in Cambridge that took cash only. No checks, no credit cards, cash only. Anyone who came to work at your house demanded to be paid in cash. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on there.
In California people are inured to it, I guess, because they simply pony up and keep on electing the same people again and again. Now the residents of the state have been saddled with a huge tax increase that all share in. Increased gas taxes, sales taxes, car fees, and income taxes – all went up. It should be no surprise that a state as burdened by taxes and regulations as California should be the one in the most trouble due to the recent downturn. People are out of work, houses are being foreclosed on right and left, the economy is in the tank, and, as a consequence, the state government is short of funds. So instead of working to help business, which is the machine that drives the economy, the state did the only thing it knew how to do: raise taxes on those workers and businesses still standing. Makes a lot of sense. At least to California legislators.
Underhanded internet sales technique
Some of the comments on the recent post about Pentabosol reminded me about how some sleazy operators do business online. If you’ve never been involved in a direct response (selling directly to customers) business, you probably don’t have any idea what kinds of shenanigans people pull to try to sell products. Let’s look at how it works with weight loss supplements. You want to make some money selling a weight loss supplement, but you don’t have the funds to mount a normal direct response campaign, so you decide to let others do the work for you. You start your company to sell your supplement. Let’s call it Weight Be Gone. You create a website extolling the virtues of Weight Be Gone and set up a shopping cart so that people can buy it. Then you create another website called something like Webscamsreview.com or weightlossscamreporter.com or something similar. Then you write reviews of all the other legitimate supplements out there – Pentabosol, for example – and you find them all wanting. You then say that the only supplement that you have tested that passes the stringent requirements for your Webscamsreview company is Weight Be Gone. And, of course, you provide a link to your own website. Then you go out and buy Google placement for other supplements, such as Pentabosol, and when people look up Pentabosol on Google, they find the Pentabosol site listed first but right below is a site supposedly providing an unbiased review of Pentabosol. Who can resist taking a look? Often the people who do take a look end up purchasing Weight Be Gone because they believe the fake reviews (both positive for Weight Be Gone and negative for all the other supplements) on the allegedly ‘independent review’ site, which is actually an ad and portal for their own supplement.
Sugar, the new health food
Finally, some bad news. It looks like sugar is making a comeback. And not just a comeback, but a comeback as a health food. Expect to start seeing more sugar and less high-fructose corn syrup HFCS). It’s easy to see why. HFCS has a real image problem. After all, would you feel better about eating something containing organic pure cane sugar or high-fructose corn syrup?
Both are about the same. HFCS contains a little more fructose, but not a lot. And the little difference that it contains probably doesn’t make much of a difference unless intakes are huge, in which case it doesn’t much matter anyway.
The problem I see with HFCS is that it works much better than sugar as a food additive. It has properties that sugar doesn’t have, making it perfect for many processed foods that otherwise wouldn’t contain sugar. As a consequence we now have a lot of foods with sweetener in them that we didn’t have when sugar was the only sweetener available. Problem is that the battle between sugar and HFCS isn’t fought on the field of these small amounts of additives, but on the field of products such as soft drinks that contain a ton of one or the other. People will still get the additional sugar from HFCS in all the small portions added to processed foods and will get sugar instead in drinks and other highly sweetened foods. And they’ll think they’re eating a health food because it is pure cane sugar and not that nasty HFCS. I suspect that all this will do nothing but bring about an increase in sugar intake. Why?
Because HFCS is sweeter than sugar. And since people have become accustomed to this level of sweetness, when HFCS is replaced by sugar, more sugar will be required to give the same degree of sweetness. And so sugar intake will increase. All in the name of health. A sorry situation indeed.
Odds and ends
Speaking of state regulation and low-carb signs, we would never see a low-carb section in our Canadian supermarkets as it is actually illegal to label a food as being low-carb. Imagine, not only is there not much awareness of the low-carb way here up-north, companies importing these foods from the US would actually get their a**es sued for doing so.
Hopes that makes you feel better about the state of your own country…
Dr. Eades, you should consider asking your web guy to farm out the work of moderating the comments to…someone. Maybe as an Amazon Mechanical Turk job.
I’ll take it under consideration.
Hi Dr. Mike…
Skiing in Vail/Beaver Creek this week with the fam as well and it looked like this for the second half of the day today…otherwise blue and clear…
Love the Odds and Ends blog; hope my font is not 1/16th of an inch too high…
My Tennessee grocery stores still don’t have low-carb sections, but I hear more and more folks talk about “shopping the perimeter of the store”, so maybe a little progress?? Or maybe not, since they also talk about looking for products with Pure Sugar instead of HFCS…
Lastly, I chuckle at the airline/airport stories…hubby is commercial pilot and we’ve travelled with our large fam for years on his standby pass…the hours I’ve spent inventing games in airports for tired, restless children.
Enjoy the kids and the slopes…thanks for all you do for us….
I got out my font ruler, but you made the cut.
first and foremost, your blog is great. so much useful and thoughtful information. thanks for this!
but the comments on the CA tax and regulation stuff? not so much.
“Now the residents of the state have been saddled with a huge tax increase that all share in. Increased gas taxes, sales taxes, car fees, and income taxes – all went up.”
the first three are highly regressive taxes, forcing working class and low-income people to spend a higher percentage of their income on their basic needs. if you’re complaining about that, i concur. and income tax? they’re low by historical standards. perhaps with a fairer income tax structure the state would find some measure of budget stability.
“It should be no surprise that a state as burdened by taxes and regulations as California should be the one in the most trouble due to the recent downturn.”
as i’m sure you dislike the simple analyses of reporters and health researchers, so you can hopefully appreciate the oversimplicity of this particular point. here is some research that discusses just how the “tax cut” states do in times of recession.
A quote from that report: “States that enacted large tax cuts between 1994 and 2001 – reducing revenue by at least 7 percent – subsequently experienced weaker growth in jobs and personal income and larger increases in the unemployment rate, on average, than other states. 13 Furthermore, the states that enacted large tax cuts faced larger budget shortfalls when their economies weakened.”
Generally, the problem for states, including Massachusetts, is lack of revenue due to highly regressive tax structures and loopholes that provide benefit to only the wealthy. Taxes don’t make rich people flee. See today’s NYT for more.
Anyway, thought I’d throw some other perspectives in the mix, fwiw. Thanks again for all you do.
I’m always happy for another perspective in the mix. It’s one I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t any less valid than mine.
I would be careful relying to much on the findings of the report you provided given the outfit that wrote it. It’s a little like Ornish putting out a report saying the ultra-low-fat diet is the best of all possible diets.
I think the person who came up with the terms regressive and progressive for taxes with the first being those taxes that fall on everyone and the second those being applied only to the well to do. I’m all for a flat tax with a negative income tax below a certain income level. Then all pay their fair share. A person making $40,000 per year pays $4,000 (or whatever) while one making $10 million per year pays $1,000,000. Why should the person making $10 million pay a greater percentage than the one making $40k? I’ve never understood that. In California right now the top 1 percent of earners pay 48 percent of the income tax. Is that fair? I don’t think so.
I also disagree with the NY Times article. That paper is not without bias on this issue. The latest tax census figures from California show a loss of 192,000 people from the tax roles since last year. I imagine a lot of them moved to Texas and other low-tax-rate states.
“It may as well have been Tony Soprano”…
For a minute there I thought you might be implying your state is run by an actor playing the role of an unstoppable human looking street smart cyborg gomba exterminator. 😉
It’s not my state. I live there only part of the time. And it’s run by a Democrat with strong ties to the extremely liberal Hollywood community acting the role of a Republican. Who else at such a time of crisis in his state’s economy would go around trying to make California green at a cost of God only knows how much money that no one has?
Some bot or someone has taken blogs that I have written on the issues children face throughout Cambodia and Vietnam, a subject I travelled and researched extensively while using my own money to help these children with… and credited you, The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D., as the one who has posted this “intriguing post”. I would appreciate it if you removed it, or ceased marketing your books with bots and spam which diverts people away from causes much more important than your own pocket.
If it was a mistake, I understand but at least you know it’s happening.
I don’t have the slightest clue what you are talking about. Please clarify.
You have one the best blogs on the web, you have written one of the best nutrition books ever, Protein Power, and you are an invaluable crusader in the fight against unhealthy nutrition foisted upon the masses by a moronic establishment. Please, don’t ever stop updating your blog or writing more books. The zero-nutrient low-fat regime must fall, as it inevitably will.
However, your blog would be even more enjoyable if you kept your political opinions out of it. “Democrats running wild?” I’m sorry, but the GOP has done everything it can to run the country into the ground and plunge it into the intellectual dark ages. Reagan turned the world’s biggest creditor nation into the biggest debtor nation, all the while mollycoddling big business at the expense of the little guy. George HW Bush gave us a war and a recession, all they while ignoring the domestic situation, and George W Bush gave as a bigger war and a depression, while again turning his back on his fellow Americans at home. Sorry, but Republicans in office have been a singular failure.
Of course you’re entitled to your opinion (and you might be deprived of even that liberty if George Orwell Bush were still in office), but your blog would be much more enjoyable if you didn’t use it voice those opinions.
Thanks for the compliments on blog and book.
Why don’t you simply not read the political parts if they so offend you? You mention the above Republican presidents as if I were in their camp – I’m not. In my opinion Reagan was okay. He cut taxes, stimulated business, and set the country on the path to a huge bull market. Unfortunately, he didn’t control spending, so it went up, up, up. Especially on the military, which is a sacred cow to Republicans. I didn’t think I could ever loath a president more than I did George Bush pere until the son came along. Neither ever saw a spending bill he didn’t like. Dubya used the power of the veto less than any president in recent memory, if not in all of presidential history. As a consequence, we’re in deep trouble. But the Democrats aren’t blameless. The entire subprime fiasco had it’s roots planted during the Clinton administration. I don’t like any of them. I’m for fiscal responsibility and allowing consenting adults to do whatever they want. Unfortunately, neither of the major parties represents my views. The Republicans have totally abdicated any sense of fiscal responsibility, yet they want to rigidly regulate our behavior. The Democrats will pretty much leave us alone in terms of our personal behavior, but they insist on using us and business for their piggybank for all kinds of nonsense spending programs. I hate them both. And the guy we’ve got in there now is, in my opinion, going to be a disaster. He’s plenty smart (I think), but he is totally inexperienced and in way, way over his head.
What I do find interesting is that every time I post a blog with any kind of political sentiment readers of a liberal persuasion can’t resist commenting on it and attacking me and whatever position I supported. It’s hard wired in them. Liberals love to show their politics on their sleeves and openly attack anyone who believes differently. If you see a car ahead of you in traffic and you can see that there are a thousand bumper stickers plastered all over it, you can be almost 100 percent positive that when you get close enough to read them, you’ll find that they are all liberal bumper stickers. A person would soon go broke trying to sell conservative bumper stickers.
Just to test this theory, I wrote a post a couple of years ago poking fun at George Bush. As I recall, I got exactly one comment that was critical of the post. Had I written a similar post today on, say, Barrack Obama, I would be swarmed on by agitated supporters of his calling me every name in the world. Granted, fewer people read my blog then than now, but that post garnered the greatest number of Diggs (62 verses, I think, about 8 for the next highest) of any post I’ve ever put up, so there have been plenty of readers over time. And only one who objected. As I say, just imagine the outcry if this had been a similar post about Obama.
Pure cane sugar will also probably make these products more expensive since corn syrup is cheaper. Maybe processed foods will loose some of their appeal as a result but that may not be such a bad thing.
From what I understand sulfites, sulfur dioxide and sulfa, although different compounds, can all have similar effects on people that are sensitive to them. Corn soaks in a sulfur dioxide bath for a few days before it goes on its way to becomming processed as corn syrup. All corn syrups and corn starches end up with a sulfur content, especially caramel colored syrups that end up in cola or root beer sodas. If you are allergic to sulfa as I am, you may have reactions to any of these substances, especially the sulfites. I for one won’t miss them.
Dr Mike, and now you are taking credit for helping children in Cambodia? Lol, I usually read your blog at around 3 am here in NYC. But that comment woke me up better than coffee.
Speaking of California, let me mention Texas first. There is a story I read in NY Times which depicted a Texan convicted killer who is waiting for his death sentence to be delivered. His pleas and appeals found deadend. So a killer decided to take out his own eye out and ate it. Kid you not! And he claimed insantiy after that. It went to court and the judge denied the insanity plea. So he is going to die now without one eye. Thats Texas weather you love it or hate it!
Now another topic which might be hot and makes me want to ask yor opinion as a doctor. Recently California, your beloved state, passed a law legalizing use of marijhuana for medicinal purposes. Today on a radio I heard Mr Holder hinting he might seek same for the rest of the states trying to legalize medicinal joints. Isnt that a slippery slope> Care to comment? Anyone can come in and claim they need it for medicinal purposes. Is there any other purposes for those who smoke it?
BTW now that I know from readers that claim you are making $600,000 a week from sale of Pentabasol my offer to treat you to a nice black caviar next time you visit Suny is off the table. I will adjust and make it Red, used to be my favorite color! Lol, now its green, go figure. On a serious note, all these bail out money and redistribution of wealth is nothing short of what France have been doing for a while. Unless you believe in socialism, its a road to naivity land. We as humans hadnt yet reached a point in our evolutionary development where all are created equal! And anyone who believes socialism works in a mulitculrual society needs to have their urnie sample tested or talk to me. I have lived through it, believe it and finally outgrown it. insanity, utopia and a road to nowhere!
It doesn’t help your argument to say things that are frankly wrong and easy to look up. The *very first* Fortunate 500 company I clicked on, Northrup Grumman (#58) is headquartered in LA. It does appear that the Fortune 50 is missing an LA presence, but 10% of the Fortune 50 is headquartered in the San Francisco bay area — and for all that LA may be larger, SF is the financial hub of the west coast, so this makes sense. Even if it’s even more infested with these despicable democrats.
Anyway, from your rant I assume you’ll be on board when the partitioning movement gets its initiative on the ballot. If that succeeds, all of us horrible bay area progressives (and our sizable chunk of America’s industry) will no longer be California’s concern.
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. That was a typo. I meant the Fortune 50. I’ve changed it.
Still only 10 percent of the Fortune 50 headquartered in a state that has one sixth of the population speaks volumes. Especially a state that has all the climate and topographical advantages of California. Given those, one would think that 30 percent of the Fortune 50 would be there.
One more thing, as a father of the low carb movement I consider many of your readers a close community. Have you ever had an urge to ask people to have their pictures posted. Some of your commenters have been there forever I am sure. I love to know faces behind commenters. I am fond of many of your commenters. Some of them are trully clever and well read, others are funny and yet some are just naive and extreame in their views. A picuter is worht a thousands words. I wonder if you ever had that feeling as well.
Yes, I would love to see the photos of readers of this blog. I just don’t know how to pull it off.
As a Southern Californian, I’m increasingly frustrated with the state government, for all the reasons you listed plus some. I’d move, but I like the weather and being close to my family. And not to throw people other political mindsets under the bus, but I knew I could believe in what you say about health and nutrition when I started reading your blog thoroughly and picked up on your libertarian tendencies… I think both low carb and libertarianism/classical liberalism tend to follow the laws of nature and facts of research more so than other ways of looking at the world.
I agree. And that’s how I came to my libertarian tendencies. The same way I came to my diet and nutrition beliefs. By a study of the nature of man.
Feeling bad for your family’s recent travel experience (especially the kids), I felt compelled to share more “inside info” on the subject.
The same rule applies for the hotel industry. Hotels also overbook. It’s all part of the new “revenue management strategies” (golf courses are next)
A hotel will not tell you that they overbooked, they will tell you they are “under-departed”.
Expedia,travelocity,priceline etc, will be the FIRST people to be walked to another property upon arrival if the hotel is full.. When booking hotels, stay away from the third party sites, go directly to the company site for guaranteed lowest pricing, or call hotel directly and see if they can do a little better then what you see on THEIR website. If you are into your “hotel reward points program”, note that they will not honor extending you points if reservations have been made through Expedia etc.
Hope that helps someone out there 😉
Have a great day,
Thanks for the tip. I already do this. I got burned badly once booking through Hotels.com (in much the same way our kids got burned using Expedia), so now I use these resources to find a reasonable hotel in an unfamiliar area, then go directly to the hotel to book.
Hi Dr. Eades,
First, hooray for gluten-free, even if it isn’t sugar-free. I live in NYC and the late night cupcake shops here are suddenly selling gluten-free cupcakes. I’m planning to try one this weekend for my weekly carb-up. I keep to <20 carbs all week, and the one big carb meal always gives me HUGE energy for a couple days, but I do feel really sick sometimes. I’m going to try it gluten-free a couple times and see what happens. (No, not just cupcakes and processed stuff. Sweet potatos and rice too.)
Also, I wanted to thank you for responding to my question about statins last week with a Lancet article for my dad. It’s still hard to discuss with him, but I dug through a bunch of papers and it does look like there’s some healthy skepticism growing out there. One more comment- if statins are known not to benefit women, why is it legal to show them in statin advertising? The ad where the fit looking middle aged woman suddenly collapses on the sidewalk from her cholesterol being like 250 comes to mind. Ugh.
I’m afraid to ask what was in the low carb section….
Believe it or not, but I don’t know. I didn’t even look because I almost never eat processed foods, and I figured all the products there were processed so I didn’t bother to look. I’ll check it out next time I’m in the store.
“I use Expedia or Travelocity to find the least expensive flights and best routes between destinations, then I go directly to the airline site to reserve. It’s usually a little less expensive than Expedia or Travelocity, and I am confirmed with the airline directly.”
Bingo! This is also why I use kayak.com – TONS of flexible search options if you log in with an account, but in the end, they are not a booking agent — they simply send you over to the site (be it aa.com or united.com or whatever) and have you book there.
Thanks for the heads up on this. I didn’t know the site existed.
I don’t come here for political commentary. And speaking as someone who fled the republican party decades ago for independence then was shoved into the democratic party by the shenanigans of the previous (mis)administration I really think you need to keep your comments on track regarding diet.
Yes I know it’s YOUR blog and you can write what you want. But you might want to consider that you’re likely to drive people away with your drivel about how the democrats have ruined California.
Why don’t you simply not read the ‘drivel’ about how the Democrats have ruined California? See my comment to a previous commenter.
I believe in the free market, and if people get a good deal, they’ll take it. If I provide enough good quality nutritional posts providing free info, I suspect you stick around despite my heretical (to you) political positions.
Hi Dr. Eades,
Off the nutrition topic, but not off the post topic – if you book through expedia, which I often do, and it is a peak period, you can usually find your AIRLINE confirmation number somewhere in one of the itineraries or emails. In my experience, if you use that number and go to the AIRLINE web site, you can then check your seats, and even change them, and the reservation is then considered the airline’s, not an expedia reservation. The way I found this out was when a flight time was changed, I couldn’t change assigned seat’s on expedia’s site, but wanted to be sure i had seats, so went through the airline site. Later, I was told by expedia that, from then on, I had to deal with the airline myself, as it was not ‘their’ reservation, which was fine.
Also, if you have airline sites seat assignments, in almost every instance, you can print boarding passes 24 hours in advance at home. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do this if you can on holiday weeks especially.
And one last tip — even if the computer says they can’t assign seats, a call to the airline (especially if you have kids) can usually ‘free up’ some of the seats they hold unassigned for airport (gate) assignment — sometimes it takes a supervisor, but if you are nice (i.e., not irate) and explain your situation, you can have pretty good luck.
All these things were learned the hard way for me, but maybe they can help someone else. You’ve given such great diet/nutrition advice, it’s nice to be able to share something from my own experience with your family.
We skied Wachusett, in Massachusetts, last week, and also Okemo, in Vermont and both were great spring conditions here in the East. Another three weeks or so, is my bet, and we’ll be all done skiing here in New England
Thanks for the tip. I wish our kids had done this very thing. It would have prevented a lot of stress a few days ago.
Hi Dr Mike
There is one Republican State, South Dakota.We have no state income tax,a balanced budget,low unemployment and high quality of life.
Glad to hear it. But if it really works as you say, I doubt that these are the same breed of Republican that runs for national politics. And, BTW, didn’t Tom Daschle represent South Dakota in both the house and the senate for a long, long time?
There is one benefit to sugar over high fructrose corn syrup – they don’t use industrial pollutants to create it.
It is a shame that people prefer to rely on minutiae to decide what to eat or not – it lets them avoid making the big changes. “I’m still drinking sugar water, but it’s now made with real sugar!”
Once I started reading labels, I started making almost all of my food from scratch. There is just so much junk in everything. Now when I read something like the linked article, I don’t have to worry. I know a lot of people don’t feel they have enough time to make their own food, but my boyfriend and I both have busy lives and full-time jobs. We save a lot of money, eat delicious food, and feel good about what we eat. It takes more planning ahead (instead of standing around each night wondering what to make for dinner, then going out), but we feel it’s worth it.
Since you are already in CA, would you mind doing the rest of us a favor and encouraging your fellow Californians to remain in their socialist paradise?
It wasn’t two weeks ago I saw a woman being interviewed on local tv about some regulation she wanted, that they had in California and she was just so surprised we didn’t have it here!
(You and Dr. MD are of course very welcome to escape even as you are encouraging everyone else to stay behind! )
I have escaped. I’ve never lived there full time since I was in college.
On the subject of odds and ends…a recent “study” in England claims that vegetarians have lower rates of cancer than meat eaters–except in the area of colon cancer, where the risk is about the same which the authors of the study found surprising). The supposed conclusion is that vegetarianism is good for you and meat eating is bad. I haven’t seen the actual study, but I would assume that one of its flaws is the presumption that any one variable (ie, the eating of meat) is the sole cause of the results–especially when it supports a particular point of view that the researchers might wish to promote. What’s more likely is that vegetarians may be more health conscious types to begin with (no smoking, lots of fresh veggies, exercise) as opposed to the meat eaters they studied. I can’t believe people can get away with this though. I’ve always heard that vegetarians (particularly vegans) die younger than their carnivorous counterparts.
I’m not sure which study you’re referring to, but I’m sure it’s an observational one, which doesn’t prove anything.
You should seriously consider using Gmail to manage your email. Gmail is incredibly robust for managing massive amounts of email – we use it for all our implode email (from ml-implode.com and the other Implode-O-Meter sites) and I could *not* imagine dealing with the volume of email we get without the power Gmail’s platform provides. I daily get >100 emails and have over 40K emails (actually more if you consider that emails with numerous responses get counted as only one) saved in my Gmail account, all searchable, and very manageable thanks to being able to use hot keys (i.e. type “c” within the inbox to compose a message — practice on learning these takes time but pays off in huge incremental time savings).
I’m sure I sound like a Gmail fanboy, but it really is that powerful and the learning curve is easy to climb.
MD is a total Gmail convert. I haven’t gotten there yet. I hate the way they stack emails. And I’m a little leery of having all my outgoing emails in someone else’s control.
Just a quick political comment. I believe that the checks and balances in goverment are woefully in trouble at the moment when democrats control everything. Right now I live in WI, where basically everything from the national down to the state level is run by democrats. I would be unhappy if the flip side were true–if Republicans controlled everything. Our government simply was not set up to be run by one single party.
As a business owner, I am quite afraid of the consequences down the line, from everything that will affect our relationship to our employees to my taxation. Increased costs in my business will have unintended consequences, as we will have to pass on costs to our clients (seniors), which we are trying so hard to not do. And an increase in a progressive tax will only serve to cause me to not want to grow my business. Since I have an s-corp, ALL my profits, regardless if I actually take them, are taxed at the personal income tax level.
Anyway, something I’ve been thinking and talking about a lot.
I agree. Which is why I like to see the president and the congress from different parties. Gridlock is good. That’s why we did so well in the last 6 years of Clinton – the Republicans kept him in line. When Dubya got elected along with the congress that was in Republican control, we got in trouble. Had we had a Democratic congress, GWB couldn’t have gotten us where he did. When all are from the same party and singing from the same hymn book a lot of mischief is created.
Reminds me of those people who smoke rollups instead of cigarettes, believing themselves to be making a positive health choice.
Speaking of the sugar and HFCS fiasco, I’ve noticed quite a trend to use sweeteners with exotic sounding names that the average layperson would never consider to be sugar: agave nectar (as you mentioned in a recent post), brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice concentrate, glucose-fructose syrup (that’s what Gatorade labels their HFCS as), etc…maybe soon they’ll start calling it “fat-free enzymatically modified liquid corn extract.”
recommend a warning sign: “Political views/minefields Ahead”
I did that once, and it didn’t help.
Great post as usual.
I totally agree about the Government shakedowns. The number of small business in Cali that have been forced by taxes to pull up stakes and set up in other states is staggering.
I have a funny feeling the same folks that were upset with the Pentabosol post will be the same folks upset with your spot on analysis of the government idiocy in Cali.
I am surprised that nobody so far has noticed that they placed the “Low-Carb” aisle directly across from the “cereals” section in the photo above. Point-counter-point anyone?
Dr. Eades, would it be possible for you to write an entry on fruits and how they fit into a low-carb lifestyle? It can’t be as simple as just count the carbs and eat whatever fruits you like as long as they don’t add up too high–what about water content vs sugar content, or glucose/fructose percentages, or vitamin/mineral content?
Also, from what I have read grapes have a very high glucose content (grape-sugar being a synonym for glucose). Are we supposed to be looking for fruits which have more fructose than glucose, to keep from getting insulin spikes?
Lastly, is there some sort of resource that we can use to determine said proportions? The FDA’s nutrient PDFs only list carb content, not the specific sugars involved.
It would take a post. I’ll take it under consideration. I do try to go for fruits that are low-carb all around and don’t worry too much about the fructose to glucose ratio. If I did eat a lot of fruit, I would lean toward those with greater glucose and less fructose. Although fructose doesn’t raise insulin levels, it does create a number of other problems, so is best avoided in large quantities.
I’ve noticed in both California and other states are more “lo-carb friendly” than where I live NY/NYC. I was at a friend’s in Ohio of all places and their grocery store has end row displays with “Low Carb corner” granted it was mostly pepperoni and low carb jerky and stuff, but it was nice to see. They also so Cincinnati style chili in a low carb version too.
Also in Cali I noticed you can still get “low-carb” burgers with the lettuce wrapped around it.
I point these out because we have none of these anymore after the low carb crash of 2005 in NYC. Worse here in NYC we have all that slow food/trendy health food movements (do not take this as me poo poo’ing slow food, I do agree with a lot of their merits).
So we have a lot of high carb food that’s vegertarian redux. Or No Sugar Added (contains organic high fructose crystals or Aguave Nectar instead of cane sugar). And a lot of people espousing on the merits of a plate with a 1lb of fresh organic local grown in season vegetables with a 2inch sliver of some organic local in season beef.
Though the biggest and funniest thing I’ve noticed is who does get the low-carb food here. I used to live in a working class neighborhood in Queens and just moved to a rich old jewish enclave Queen’s neighborhood full of yuppy white collar couples, older european expat families, and a lot of gay people. People that are fairly health/body conscious. I was surprised when I went shopping my first day there, and discovered low carb products I thought dead were still alive. Low carb heinz ketchup, low carb tortillas, low carb ice cream, etc.
Stuff that I was long gone and out of stock after the low carb boom was still and alive turning over regularly. While I’m happy for it, it’s still sad somehow that my new “rich” neighborhood is stocked to the gills with low carb food, and my old “working class” neighborhood was a wasteland of chips, frozen pizzas, and snack cakes.
Interesting. It’s not always a correlation, but I’ve usually found that well-off people who got there by working are usually fairly smart. People who go low-carb against the prevailing wisdom are also smart. So, it makes sense that low-carb would be alive in upscale areas.
Love your nutrition content and have been a reader for a long time. I will stop reading if you continue to post political content. I know it is your blog and you are of course welcome to post whatever you feel like. Just know that any more of it will cause me to stop reading (and probably more than a few others).
Please stick to the nutrition and health information which, for me, is unparalleled on the internet.
Hi. Thanks for the compliment on the nutritional content of the blog. I don’t mean to be nasty, but I don’t recall having issued you an invitation begging you to read this blog. You found it on your own and you obviously find value in it or you wouldn’t be a reader. It’s got to be your call whether or not the value received is worth the occasional annoyance at coming across a political opinion with which you don’t agree (and don’t have to read if it annoys you). That goes for the ‘probably more than a few others’ you represent. This blog is like a marriage. There are things about MD that drive me crazy, but overall I’ve got a hell of a good deal with her. I overlook those things that annoy me and focus on the good. If I took your approach, I would have been in divorce court years ago and been deprived of a wonderful life companion.
I love the blog — like the post. But your comment about Fortune 500 companies and California is a straw man at best. There are 103 of the Fortune 500 in California, and while this is 10 less then Texas, I do not see a large difference based on your theory of high-tax states vs low-tax states. Using LA out of the blue when the rest of the post is written about California is just unfair. If you want to discuss the Fortune 500 in California and how high taxes affect the state, do so. Not having Fortune 500 companies headquarted in LA is a function of what business dominates the city, entertainment, not state taxes.
Moreover, I would make a case for the reason for Texas’ high number of Fortune 500 companies to be overwhelmingly in favor of geographic resources vs taxes — namely oil companies being founded where there is oil.
Sorry. The Fortune 500 was a typo. Should have been Fortune 50. I’ve corrected it and dealt with it in the response to another commenter.
Let me get this straight … businesses exist to make money, but I’m supposed to believe that they don’t consider taxes — often their single biggest expense — when choosing a location because the New York Times (lovers of high taxes) says so. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
Of course the ultra-rich don’t care about income taxes. They barely pay income taxes. The John Kerrys of the world have little “income” to tax, because their wealth is in the form of investments. They pay the capital-gains rate, not the income-tax rate. But for the merely “rich,” who have income from a small business or a profession, taxes matter a hell of a lot.
Income taxes are “low by historical standards” only if you do a very simple comparison: the top marginal rate used to 90 percent, then 70 percent, now it’s under 40 percent, so therefore taxes are low. The missing variable is who pays those rates. When there was a 90 percent rate, it was targeted at people like Andrew Carnegie. If you made a million dollars per year — the equivalent of many millions per year now — you paid that rate. Now you pay the top rate if you make $250,000. The Alternative Minimum Tax was aimed at the uber-rich, and now it’s punishing small businesses because of bracket-creep.
The bottom line is that the average middle-class Joe in the 1950s paid about 25 percent of everything he earned back to various government bodies in the form of taxes. Today the same middle-class Joe pays nearly 45 percent of everything he earns back in taxes. These figures aren’t in dispute; you can look them up.
The New York Times can cherry-pick all the data they want. Here is a real-world example: my wife and I recently decided to move ourselves and our little S-corporation from California to Tennessee. There are a handful of reasons, but the whole conversation began with one word: TAXES. I am not going to live and do business in a state that imposes one of the highest tax burdens in the country on its residents and yet still runs deficits in the billions — and then decides the problem is lack of revenue, not over-spending. I can’t change the political culture here, but I can sure as heck stop feeding it with my business and personal income taxes.
Tennessee has no state income tax, and yet manages to run a state government. Imagine that. And if you think the number of automakers who’ve moved to Tennessee in the past decade has nothing to do with taxes, you’re dreaming … or reading the New York Times.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to sound humorless. I WILL try to ignore the political parts of your blog from now on.
However, I am in NO WAY a liberal. I despise whiney “gimme gimme” spoiled brat bleeding hearts who aren’t happy unless there is something to complain about. I’m a right-smack-down-the-middle moderate. And I wasn’t attacking YOU, just your opinion about “Democrats gone wild.”
Looking forward to more great blog entries from you.
Don’t worry about it. I’m probably the one who was uncharacteristically humorless after seeing all the comments attacking me over a small part of a larger post.
Only partly true – “So instead of working to help business, which is the machine that drives the economy, the state did the only thing it knew how to do: raise taxes on those workers and businesses still standing. ”
Corporate income taxes were lowered – see this link “http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/09/1n9taxcut221232-revision-tax-code-benefit-companie/?zIndex=63994”
This is great. But it all came about because large companies threatened to pull the plug on California and leave. Notice how the legislation was written to accommodate these companies in particular and not business in general.
@ Noah, 19. March 2009, 10:23-
“…in Ohio of all places,” made me chuckle! I’m in Ohio. My local grocery store stocks low carb catsup, and other low carb “treats” (most of which I have never tried because I try to keep it really simple). Anyway, I always think it’s funny when people have the perception that Ohio is sort of backwards. It couldn’t be further from the truth! We’re not New York, for sure, but we did give birth to flight, the electric starter for automobiles, the pop top can, and a whole long list of other inventionsthat would make things much harder to function in this modern day world without the brilliant people who were born and reared in my fine Buckeye State.
When the Low Carb boom happened there were several grocery store aisles dedicated to low carb frankenfoods. Now the products that remain are just interspersed with the other products similar to them…for example, you can find the low carb catsup right next to the higher carb stuff. There must be a demand for it here or it wouldn’t be stocked. There is intelligent life in Ohio, and I do hope the trend continues to grow toward healthy low carb eating. I know I do my part to help spread the low carb gospel. 😉
Dr. Mike, please go right ahead and talk about whatever you’d like. If I don’t like it I’ll live. I don’t have to read it, or like it, but you are as entitled to your views and opinions as am I, and just as entitled to blog about it if you choose. Thank god for freedom of speech. We do live in a great country, albeit one that needs a little reorganizing. More times than not I actually agree with your views, so I guess it really doesn’t bother me.
My own local A&P stocks low carb tortillas-I even recently found a brand with your name on the back of it!-not sure if it was an actual endorsement by you, or they just quoted you.
They usually have a lot around, and they’re fresh, so someone around here besides me must be eating low carb. I use them as hamburger buns usually.
Btw, the brand with your name on them-(forget the name at the moment) -are really good, much better tasting than the other brand that’s available.
You’re talking about the La Tortilla Factory tortillas. Way back years ago when we wrote one of our books – I don’t even remember which – we recommended that brand of tortilla in the back of the book because the fiber content was so high. All of a sudden people all over the country were ordering tortillas by the case, and one of the VPs called me. He asked if since we recommended his company’s tortillas in our book, would we mind it they put ‘Recommended by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades’ on the label. Were I a brilliant marketer, I would have said, Sure…for a penny a label. But being the non-brilliant marketer I am, I said, Uh, okay. Sure. Go ahead.
That was about ten years ago and God only knows how many of those tortillas have been sold. I have people tell me all the time that they have contributed to my children’s education fund or whatever because they’ve purchased the tortillas we sell. I always tell them that a) we don’t sell them. In fact we have nothing to do with them. And b) we have never made a penny from having our name on the label.
I don’t know if I believe that a higher percentage of the Fortune 500 ought to be in California; when you look through the list and the locations of the companies on it, most of them make a great deal of sense where they are. Why would a Deere & Co. be here rather than the midwest? Why wouldn’t there be more financials in NYC than SF (although we do have several)? Why wouldn’t oil companies cluster in Texas (although, surprisingly, we have Chevron Texaco)? Conversely, starting a tech company in the midwest would be comparatively tough going.
In any case, I think we’re doomed as long as the initiative system works as it does. How can you ever have a working budget when any random ballot initiative can shift billions of dollars around?
I really enjoy your blog – this is my first comment.
I am a Type 2 diabetic and have been trying, with mixed success, a low-carb diet. I’ve also been doing the wimpy form of intermittent fasting (fasting for about 19 to 20 hours every other day).
The connection between a high-protein diet and kidney problems is puzzling to me, and I’ve not been able to find much detailed information on it. A post on this issue if you’ve not already done so would be great.
It’s not really worth a post. There is no evidence that protein causes kidney damage. That notion is a myth.
The reason there isn’t a low fat section is because that is most of the store. At Walmart, in the pharmacy section, the low carb Slim Fast has a ‘Low Fat’ sticker on it.
I really don’t care for the political comments, either, but I can ignore them, because you give us so much more nutritional information that is up-to-date and of great benefit to all of us who choose do live a low carb lifestyle. If people don’t like your small asides covering other topics, and choose to stop reading, it’s their loss.
Keep up the good work. You are appreciated, you know.
Thanks. I pretty much keep a muzzle on it, but every now and then I see something (in this case, the sign on the restroom at the Squeeze In) that sets me off. I appreciate your indulgence.
It’s funny to me that grocery stores create a big sign pointing to the “low carb” section of the store; I always wonder: is it because they forget or is it because they don’t know that the real low carb sections are the ones with the meat, cheese and salad veggies in them? 🙂
Personally, Dr. Eades, I like your political comments now and then. So count this as one reader who might read more to offset all those threatening not to read your blog anymore. (Joking — I won’t really be reading anymore since you’re in my google reader and I see your posts pretty much instantly anyway.) Still, you hit this one on the head and shouldn’t have to apologize for it.
This doesn’t end with California, either. There are some horrible bills out there right now on farming and food legislation that are going to be a disaster if they go through. Anyone — Democrat, Republican, or otherwise — who cares about their freedom to eat what they want should become informed. I’ve written extensively on a very intrusive USDA program to track animals (NAIS), and will be writing on HR 875 soon (the so-called Food Safety and Modernization Act). Interested people should see my blog for more details about what to do (just click the name above to be routed to my site.)
I have to say… I’m not so sure that a low carb aisle is a good sign, though. My “low carb aisles” are the edges of the grocery store where actual food — meat, veg, and dairy — is sold. I haven’t really checked into processed low carb food, but I would bet it is only marginally healthier than most of the processed foods in the supermarket and probably loaded with soy, vegetable oils, and all sorts of other derivative junk. Just the type of thing I would have eaten myself a few years ago.
Perhaps low carb aisles are a good sign if people use them as a step on their way to eating real food that is also low carb, though.
Hi Dr. Eades,
I’ve recently found your blog and been enjoying it for some time now. You do great work. I too have noticed the inordinate amount of bullying coming from those of the liberal/democrat mindset. It seems to be one of the reasons that any other point of view has very little presence on the internet at this point. Who wants to post their opinion on something when they know 99% of the responses will be vitriolic personal attacks? It reminds me of the body snatchers. Everyone goes about their business until someone expresses a conservative point of view, then they all stop and point and scream at him until he runs away. Thank you for having the courage to state your opinion in such a hostile medium. I wish more people would do the same and not hide what they believe for fear of being attacked.
Also, I’m happy to see Tom Naughton also commenting here. I just watched “Fat Head” for the third time last night. I think the interviews with you an MD were the most informative parts.
Thanks for the Fat Head compliments.
Dr. Mike. I like your style, even when I don’t agree with your assessments. Stick to your guns–it IS your blog. It has been my experience that the people who are the quickest to be offended by opinions they don’t share are usually the loudest voices in favor of “embracing diversity.” I generally dismiss them as ” irony challenged.”
I don’t mind political mine fields. I never met an intelligent person who agreed with me about everything.
I come here for the nutritional info and it’s free!!!
The least I can do is do my ordering at Amazon by going through your portal.
I appreciate the Amazon help. So many people came through for me last month, that the Amazon commissions covered my site maintenance for the first time ever. Thanks to all those who helped.
Dr. Eades, Thank you for your work. You are influencing my diet choices. I am trying to stay low carb after finishing my “meat diet.” Six weeks on nothing but meat and eggs caused me to lose 15 lbs. However, it nearly doubled my cholesterol. In response to the person looking for pictures, I posted a picture on my blog: http://curiousfarmer.wordpress.com/
Thanks for the link. Nice photo.
Hey, I work for a fortune 20 company whose headquarters is in San Fran. Maybe SF doesn’t count as normal California.
Or maybe our company (who shall remain nameless) just loves all the rules and regulations. That would make perfect sense… We ran out of cream for our office coffee a few days ago, so I had to call our “facilities call center” in India and explain the problem. An hour and half later a fellow from our cafeteria in the building next door over brought over 2 boxes of coffee pouches for us. No cream. I should have got him to sign the bathroom door while he was there.
No, I said there were no Fortune 50 companies headquartered in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country.
Dr. Eades, I am also a libertarian and I generally hate politics. I want to say that your political views do not bother me one whit, you don’t have to agree with me, and I’ll keep reading your blog even if I disagree with you.
I originally came out here in 1973 at the age of 19, 1-1/2 years after graduating from high school in Miami, Florida (also had lived in Michigan as a kid).
It used to be that So. Cal. was not all that much more expensive than other big cities; such is no longer the case. Heck, we can’t even get a stable electrical supply here. And don’t get me started on the fact that they haven’t even built any electrical generating plants for literally decades. Our electrical bill in the summer, because of the AC, went over $600 per month last year (we work at home and we have to keep the computers comfy too).
I left California three times between 1990 and 1996, and have been back here since 1996. I came back because I got lonely for long-time friends.
I intend to be gone permanently no later than the end of 2010 (we’d leave next week if we had the wherewithal), but this time I’m leaving with my significant other. I helped him move back because he likes the climate (low vision, so he doesn’t drive), but I’ve talked him into seeing that other things are beginning to trump the nice climate.
Yes, I know that in other places they do hate a lot of ex-Californians because some of them “californicate” and foul their new nests, but we’re not like that. We’re looking to escape the things that make California too obnoxious to stay here.
We’re probably going to northern Arizona, to a small town with a lower cost of living, including rent and utilities, and we’ll be taking our at-home medical transcription jobs with us.
Oh yeah, and although I hear what you’re saying about the Fortune 50, in my field, it’s better to work for a small regional company rather than a large national, because the pay is better.
No place is perfect… I once thought of going to Houston, Texas (lots of work and low rents due to no zoning), but the heat and humidity would just drive me insane.
Unfortunately, I think we’re in for a depression, and I think Obummer is going to be a big part of why it’s happening. I’m figuring on hunkering down and spending as little money as possible for the next several years, so a small hick town would probably be good for my purposes.
Sorry that your kids and their families got hung out to dry by the airlines and the booking websites.
Thanks to Berto for the information about kayak.com. I don’t travel very often, but that will come in handy next time I do.
Here we go again!
Folks, Dr Eades is a human being. You all value his diet and nutrition ideas because they are intrinsicly valuable and they work.
I don’t actually agree with a lot of the political comments in this post. So what! Mike, you’re perfectly entitled to make them. The people who are disgusted have tolerance issues! Democracy and freedom mean that we are able to express opinions and we respect each other.
And Democrat vs Republican?
Wasn’t it Jonathan Miller (in “Beyond the Fringe”) who said, when explaining the US political system, “There’s the Republicans who are the equivalent of our Conservative Party. And then there are the Democrats, who are the equivalent of our Conservative Party.”
Best version of the quote I can find (video missing):
(This was the comedy I grew up with, at age ~12. Note that they send up the UK more than the US.)
That’s how it looked to a UK audience in the early 60s and it still looks the same way to the rest of the world: a bit narrow in perspective.
Take a chill pill, folks!
Funny. I would say were I beyond the fringe that there are the Democrats who are the equivalent to our Labor party. And then there are the Republicans who are the equivalent to our Labor party.
Cheers and thanks for the support…even from a non-believer.
Hi Dr. Mike,
I do enjoy your blog. Enough to go through all the back posts and the comments as well. I think there’s often as much info in the comments as there is in your posts.
As for the political stuff…well, last I checked, this was YOUR blog, and therefore you post what you want. I don’t have to read it if I don’t want to. Just like reading a newspaper – I’m not into sports, so I skip those pages. I don’t write letters to the editors telling them they need to stop printing the sports section. And it doesn’t stop me from reading the paper again the next day. If you do post something I’m not particularly interested in (which rarely happens), I just wait for your next post. 🙂
@ Dave Wilson,
Two sites I know of that will usually list the different types of sugars:
I hope the links work.
Thanks for the link. I should have remembered that the USDA site breaks out the sugars. I usually use it to determine carb content, irrespective of what kind they are, and I use it to look at the breakdown of the different fats. You’ve got to remember when using this site to determine fructose content that half of sucrose is fructose as well. So to get total fructose content, add half the sucrose to the amount listed for fructose, and you’ll have the total fructose content of whatever fruit (or vegetable or whatever) you’re checking.
You’ve seen Fat Head three times?! I love you, man. Heck, my mom only watched it twice.
I just had to comment again after stopping by to read the new comments, and I’m finding it incredibly ironic that people are asking you to keep your “unpopular” opinions to yourself… what if you had decided to keep your unpopular food opinions to yourself, because you were afraid people wouldn’t like what you said?! Where would those people be then? Maybe on a low-fat blog instead of this one….
Precisely. I suspect my nutritional opinions would offend more people in the world at large than my political opinions. Obama got about 52 percent of the population, which means that about half the people didn’t want him. I doubt that half the people in today’s times would be sympathetic with my nutritional ideas.
Sometimes silence is the best response! I wish people who trully find your political views that much bothersome followed that rule at times! I for one completely agree you with you on your political assessment. Where I originally come from everyone owned everything therefore no one owned nothing! It is so easy to pass the buck when its not yours.
Anyway speaking of politics, would you love to share with your audience what annoying habits you think MD have? I am sure lots of your women base would find it much more interesting than politics. Oh wait it could be politics. Politics is an art of compromise. So being together for that many years means you are not a bad politician yourself.
Uh, one of her annoying habits would be to kill me if I posted her annoying habits on the internet for all to see. Short of killing me, she might retaliate by posting my annoying habits on her blog. I’m sure her list of my annoying habits would be longer than mine of hers.
Ok, since I started an idea of having faces attached to the commenters, here is mine. Not for a faint heart though, lol.
Thanks. You’re first. Maybe you’ll start a trend.
Dr Mike this is a picture of my ex-love. We were both crazy in love but couldnt survive each other annoying habits. I need you to share your secrets to a lasting relationship. Ok, I am stubborn and at times old-fashioned, but open-minded at the same time. But I dont believe a woman needs to have her opinion heard all the time! Oops, did I say that outloud?
I always find your off topic posts very enjoyable. You are unique in that you are never pigeon-holed, especially when it comes to politics. That is refreshing. Feel free to loosen the muzzle more often.
“The people who are disgusted have tolerance issues!”
No kidding. They have a majority in Congress and a new president and they still won’t be happy until they can shut everyone else up that disagrees with them. It speaks volumes.
Yeah, it’s called freedom of speech. You go Mike. It seems all but impossible these days to actually discuss political differences without resorting to personal attacks. I see the same attitude creeping or careening into “scientific” discussions too. Stand your ground and fight like the gentleman you are. Bravo!
I always like your political comments as I agree with them 🙂 so there are a few of us out here in the great internet wilderness. Keep up the good work.
I suspect I was one of those who used the reply button and in the crunch of emails, mine will be among the tossed. I sent a question about your product Pentabosol. I noticed that there were several sites on the internet and being skeptical about all of them, I wonder if the product is still available and if so where. I have tried the low carb approach and have concluded that I am one of those who must be carbaholic. I have not been all that successful losing and would like to try this product to enforce my efforts.
You can get it through the products section of our website http://www.mreades.wpengine.com or through the Pentabosol website http://www.pentabosol.com. It doesn’t really help with carb addiction. It only helps if you follow a low-carb diet while taking it. So, if you are considering purchasing thinking it will help you stay away from carbs, you might want to save your money.
I watched it twice back to back! Truly one of the best docs I’ve seen. There’s just something so fascinating about watching a theory you’ve been fed as fact your entire life get slaughtered.
Is there any significance to the fact that sucrose is glucose and fructose bound together, and HFCS is free glucose and fructose? I’ve heard that there was a mechanism the body can use to regulate the breakdown of sucrose. I don’t remember where though.
I don’t think there’s much significance unless one has some sort of saccharide malabsorption syndrome. The enzymes in the brush border of the enterocytes (the cells lining the GI tract) break down complex sugars to their individual components.
I’m not offended by your political comments (well maybe a little irritated). It’s your blog and you can say what you like. I just find the nutritional observations to be better researched than the political ones.
As for the examples of state regulation gone wild, the first of which is a requirement for clean graffiti free bathroom stalls seems reasonable. I don’t appreciate reading low grade gay and, to a lesser degree straight, porn that usually adorns these walls.
The other example of measurement of fonts on bank interest rates seems unreasonable, although I’d point that your example is hearsay. It may be that it was the tip of the iceberg in terms of violations.
I also am a little bemused by your comment that “It’s not my state. I live there only part of the time.” You’ve boasted more than once on the paradiisical climate of Santa Barbara. Are you stateless or is there another state you spend more time in that you do consider home? This brings up the subject of political responsibilty. While I hope for a time when money won’t buy votes through political ads, my sense is that we have the best democratic republic that money can buy and, as such, we have to vote with our pocketbooks. One example being Obama’s election which seems to have had a greater number of smaller contributors than any previous president. I have no idea if that wil make him a better president or not. It may make him more responsive to the the smaller contributor versus the big lobbyist (which I do think is a good thing). Thanks for the time and space to comment.
P.S. The sign example amused me because my day job is inspecting wastewater plants and one item I check is the size, shape, color, etc. of the discharge notification signs, but I’ve never fined anyone, only brought them into compliance.
No offense intended, but this is exactly the mindset that I find annoying. Why should this be the responsibility of the state? Just because something offends or annoys one or many people, why is it the job of the state to jump in and regulate it? Why don’t you simply complain to the management? If enough people do this, then the management will take care of it or risk losing business. Why should it fall on management of a restaurant to run into the restroom after every patron to make sure some dork hasn’t written something on the wall and put the owners of the restaurant at risk for a fine should the next person to use the restroom be a state regulator? Maybe there are establishments that cater to gay or porn-loving patrons who not only wouldn’t be offended by such graffiti on restroom walls, but actually enjoy it. Why should those establishments be penalized? The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me. It’s just a setup for a shakedown. And now that California is in a budget crisis, there are a whole lot more shakedowns going on. We recently had an article in the Santa Barbara paper about a guy who got fined for letting his four-year old son urinate by the side of the road in a wooded area. Yes, there is a law against that in California. If the state government is flush, no one probably cares, but when times are hard for the state, as they are now, all these little twerpy laws (of which there are no end) are being enforced and fines levied.
Santa Barbara is a paradise climate-wise and in many other ways, but it’s not our full-time residence. We live and vote in Incline Village, Nevada, and have for much longer than we’ve had a place in Santa Barbara.
If you inspect wastewater plants (for which I have a soft spot in my heart because I used to design an build them in my engineering days) and you issue warnings and instructions on how said plants can be brought into compliance, I can guarantee you one of two things: You don’t work in California and/or these are all municipal (or other government-run) facilities.
As to the regulation of fonts, I can assure you that it’s not hearsay. I’ve seen the documents.
“… No, I said there were no Fortune 50 companies headquartered in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the country.”
True. My bad. I thought you implied all of California based on the sentence following that one.
” … Why? Because of the outrageous tax situation. Why do business there and deal with all the tax and regulatory nonsense California slings out when you could headquarter your offices in Texas, …”
No problem. I should have been clearer.
Being a fellow libertarian and avid reader of your blog, I’m always eager to read more political posts by you, if for no other reason then to drive away all those folks who don’t deserve to benefit from your knowledge.
While I love reading the Doc’s posts even on non-nutritional subjects, I believe we as readers of the blog should stick to the subject discussed in the post. You’ve made some great contributions through your comments, but I often see comments by you that have no relevancy to the post. Since you’re such a frequent commenter, maybe you can start your own blog. You being a Russian speaker, perhaps you can target other Russians with your low-carb advice. I’ve yet to see any blog/site that educates Russian speakers about the virtues of a low-carb/paleo diet, so that might be a fun project for you.
The State gone mad? _This_ had me in stitches!
Dr. Eades wrote: “In California right now the top 1 percent of earners pay 48 percent of the income tax. Is that fair?”
According to the Pareto principle, 80 % of the income is made by 20% of the people. If one takes this two steps further 0.2*0.2*0.2% (=0.8%) of the people make 0.8*0.8*0.8% (=51.2%) of the income. So, maybe it’s OK for 1% of the people to pay 48% of the taxes if they do indeed make 48% of the income.
I don’t think you can extrapolate the Pareto principle by multiplying it by itself until you get the numbers you want. What the Pareto principle says (and this isn’t a truth chiseled into stone, but an approximation) is that in, say, California 80 percent of the wealth is controlled by 20 percent of the people. I might go for that, but it’s iffy. Or that 20 percent of the people earn 80 percent of the income (which I seriously doubt). But there is no evidence it can be extrapolated beyond that.
The latest California numbers from 2008 show a population of 33,000,000 people in the state. I figure there are about 22,000,000 who are adults and earning income. According to the California Dept of Finance, the gross product of California is $1.54 trillion per year. If you run your Pareto regression out until you have the top one person, that top one person would be earning about $160 billion per year. As far as I know, no one earns anywhere close. Not even Bill Gates, and he doesn’t even live in California. Add the annual incomes of Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett and any other dozen people you want to throw in and you won’t get close to $160 billion per year. So, if the regression doesn’t hold when you take it all the way out, it probably doesn’t hold if you take it just a few times.
Those links look very interesting. I will have to browse Fructose vs. Glucose and see if it changes my fruit choices when I choose to splurge.
I am a huge mega fan of Fat Head–I have recommended it to many of my friends. Your website, however, does not list contact info for you. Can you let us Protein Power aficionados in on an e-mail address where we can send correspondence?
Admittedly, I use your site exclusively for its nutrition and health information, but it’s your soapbox. My chutzpah is not nearly so great as to permit me to try and dictate how you run things here. It is a tremendous resource for me and I refer people to your site often. I also ordered a can of Pentabosol and will write to you with my observations. Keep up the good work!
Please do let me know how you do.
Hi, Dr. Mike
First of all, your exhausted grandsons are adorable. Thank you for posting their photo.
Having read somewhere that in 2008 the American Diabetes Association actually came out and admitted that a low-carb diet can actually be helpful in controlling bg, I went to their website to search for more information. I didn’t find it, but I did find this statement, “Sugar and starch both raise blood glucose, so it is important to include both in your diet.” I had to go back and read it several times, and still don’t believe that’s what they said….of course, if that’s their position, it would explain a few other things, wouldn’t it?
The place where I usually buy my coffee (I haven’t had a good cup of coffee since I moved to Seattle, but this one comes closer – and has zero-carb Splenda syrup on the condiments counter.) also has pastries of course. Right next to the register is a display of “Caveman Bars”. While I have no objection to the nuts and fruit listed as ingredients, I would really like to know where cavemen found “brown rice syrup”!
Although I find politics of any strip both boring and incomprehensible, the first thing I learned on my first email list was what the “delete” button is for. So if that’s what you want to talk about, carry on – but I am allowed to hope you will soon get back to topics in which I have more interest.
Those are my odds and ends…while I am definitely odd, while you continue to write such an excellent blog I doubt my comments will end.
The statement about sugar and starch raising blood sugar and are therefor important to include in the diabetic diet has got to be a Freudian slip. If diabetes went away, what would happen to the ADA?
Just in case you missed it, here is a post with another photo of the grandsons. Not that I want to show them off or anything.
I”m a wee bit skittish about posting my email address online. I had sort of a stalker experience awhile back, resulting from having contact info posted on the web.
You can, however, post comments on the fathead-movie.com site (just reincarnated as a blog) or send a message through our YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/fatheadmovie). Those end up in my mailbox, without me having to post my email online.
Thanks for getting the word out on the film. It’s working.
Firstly, ill begin by saying we agree that the libertarian society is the one best suited towards man given his social evolution. However we come from opposite ends of the spectrum in how to construct a society most suited towards mans evolutionary need for community and freedom from coertion, ie one that is essentially stateless.
Firstly I believe that the market as a method of production is wedded to the state. You simply cannot have a scenario where the top few in society own the majority of the wealth without an apparatus of violence to maintain this scenario. Man will naturally rebel against such inequality. The state in this sense is built on the foundation of class rule.
From a health prospective we see that hunter gatherer societies are free of the syndrome x diseases that plague us here in the west. Two things are a factor here. Firstly diet. Secondly, these societies are both stateless (there is no surplus production to hoard or protect therefore no need for a state) and classless (again there is no surplus production to maintain different classes). I cant find the studies but i understand from a my brief health economics module in college that inequality is one of the best predictors of syndrome x diseases, ie those at the bottom of the social ladder are most prone to cancer, heart disease, etc. Of course here it is hard to tell where diet as cause starts and finishes.
Ill finish by saying that the market doesnt need the state to coerce in many cases. Poverty does that just fine alot of the time. If you were game for a Marxist analysis of the foundation of the state and class there’s Frederick Engels “Origin of Family, Private Property and The State”. Even if you disagree cover to cover its an anthropological classic and shows how development of these things are very interelated.
Ill double finish by saying thanks for all your time put into the blog!
I’ve read here and there in Engels’ book and found the anthropological ideas antiquated, to say the least. I agree that hunter-gatherers were more or less classless, but those days are gone. Although we can now – if we choose – follow a Paleolithic diet, it is virtually impossible to follow a Paleolithic lifestyle without simply checking out and going off the grid. Like it or not, we’ve got to live within the bounds of society as it is. We can try to change it to a more libertarian society, but it will be a tough row to hoe getting it done.
Dr. Eades, I really appreciate all your health advice and I hope you someday get your due as a forerunner in the health revolution toward controlling this nation’s carb addiction, but I implore you to please refrain from politicizing your excellent blog. I understand that it is yours and you can do with it as you please, but I found your comments about California a bit alienating – but, more importantly: unnecessary. There’s plenty I’d like to fire back with, but I’d rather give you time to dedicate toward your next health-related post. Please.
Thanks for the advice. But why don’t you simply forgo reading those posts or parts of posts that seem to be in conflict with your own political views. Or, instead, fire back. I can take it. I didn’t just develop my political views one afternoon while lying at the beach. I put a lot of thought and study into them just as I did my nutritional ideas. I don’t mind being challenged.
Since this IS an odds and ends post and I can’t comment on your old posts from years ago I have to ask here. I was reading through old posts and I feel sort of silly that I’m still confused about canola oil. Is it horrible or not? I’m thinking you said in original Protein Power that is was bad, and then in Protein Power Lifeplan it was OK and now it’s…? Your post from 3 years ago says it has trans fats because of the deodorization (is that the word?) process. I just need to know the latest latest because I adore the Land O Lakes spreadable butter with Canola oil but if this is true I guess I must switch to the less yummy but healthier Olivia spreadable butter with Olive Oil, although it doesn’t taste as good. I like these because they’re nice and soft, easily spreadable. (to make clear, these are real butter, NOT buttery spreads…i.e. margarine) If you could make this clear for me that would be great. Canola oil = OK / Canola Oil= Not OK 🙂 …. Thanks! Also, I guess I should consider asking, if canola oil is no good, would the small amounts added to this butter cause much trouble in my body?
Canola oil is okay. It’s not the best of oils, and it probably contains a percentage of trans fats that created during the deodorization process. Why don’t you just use real butter that is left out so that it, too, is spreadable? If you use butter fairly regularly, it isn’t going to go bad on you.
In other “Low-carb gains a foothold” news, I’m not sure how much old news this is, but at Jimmy Johns now I can order an unwich, which is any sandwich they sell wrapped in lettuce instead of bread, and they advertise this on their website.
Another site for checking on airline prices with information on layovers and the ability to do multipoint trips is http://matrix.itasoftware.com which I use to find flights, then buy them from the airlines as well.
I’d have to add my vote for gmail as well, although it took me a few days to move the thousands of messages I’ve kept over the years into gmail. I’m making a lot of use of the ability to have what they’re calling multiple inbox displays, as well as heavy use of the filters, but the ability to access my mail from any imap client, mail.app on OS X, thunderbird on any desktop OS, mutt on my unix systems, and either the treo I just gave up or the iphone I recently got and have it have consistent state was a driving force behind my move to gmail (I just had to ensure that everything was using imap, and not pop, which gmail also offers). I find the gmail interface is better than the rest for some of my uses, but it always depends on what works for how you work. If the stacking messages (conversations) is the part you dislike most, using gmail via an imap client may be a net win for you.
As for politics, I used to be much more libertarian than I am now. I don’t necessarily agree with your politics, but I don’t see much to argue with here. For me, listening to other people who don’t agree with me is how I learn more about my own positions. I appreciate people who have spent time refining their beliefs having rational discussions about why they believe what they believe, so that if we disagree, my beliefs are subject to examination. I may not change my beliefs, but I like pretending they have rational basis, and can withstand challenge and dissent. Which is a long way of saying I like your political posts, even when I don’t agree with you at all.
In actual low carb personal news, my husband’s blood pressure has dropped remarkably, and his doctor is very curious about the supplements I have him take (from reading here and your books), and also very supportive of low carb, in fact encouraging him to continue eating this way, and in fact cutting out even more carbs.
Thank you for your blog and your books.
Thanks for the tip on using the imap on gmail. I’ve been reading about it, but I just haven’t been able to man up and do it yet for fear of I don’t know what. I use several computers and a Blackberry (soon to be switched to an iPhone), and it would be nice to have all my stuff the same on all of them. Your comment may be what it takes to make me go ahead and take the plunge.
I’m glad to hear your husband has done so well. Tell him to keep it up.
I’d actually like to hear MORE political comments and opinions from Dr. Eades.
And a question for both Dr. Eades and Tom Naughton: I’ve long suspected that the low-fat team is an elitist, top-down, near-socialist approach to eating, where the low-carb/Paleo/Primal camp is far more bottom-up and libertarian. (Well, maybe “bottom up” isn’t the best term to use when talking about eating …) You guys are both libertarian-ish. Do you make this kind of connection between your views on health and eating and your politics too?
Yes, I do. Haven’t checked with the spouse, but I imagine she’s on board with it, too. I don’t have any way of knowing for sure, but I would be willing to bet that most of those following the Ornish approach to dieting would follow the Ornish approach to politics as well.
If you see a car ahead of you in traffic and you can see that there are a thousand bumper stickers plastered all over it, you can be almost 100 percent positive that when you get close enough to read them, you’ll find that they are all liberal bumper stickers. This immediately says y’all don’t live in the South *G*! The stickers here are anything but liberal.
the top marginal rate used to 90 percent, then 70 percent, now it’s under 40 percent, so therefore taxes are low. The missing variable is who pays those rates. When there was a 90 percent rate, it was targeted at people like Andrew Carnegie. If you made a million dollars per year — the equivalent of many millions per year now — you paid that rate. Now you pay the top rate if you make $250,000…The bottom line is that the average middle-class Joe in the 1950s paid about 25 percent of everything he earned back to various government bodies in the form of taxes. Today the same middle-class Joe pays nearly 45 percent of everything he earns back in taxes. These figures aren’t in dispute; you can look them up. Dead on, Tom! I’ve been telling this to my several Replublican/conservative email buddies for ages it seems and they still don’t believe it AND won’t look up the facts themselves to verify this one way or t’other…fundamentalists of all persuasions have such tightly-locked mindsets.
Doc, keep sharing — it provokes communication, stimulates brain activity…you could promote reading your blog as an anti-brain aging activity *G*! Whether one’s again or for it, it makes those brain connections fire merrily away.
Meanwhile, I’ve now lost 50 #s (lots more to go), my HgA1C went from 11 to 9 to 6.9 to finally 6.1. I fell about a month ago, horribly scapping both knees and ending up with cellulitis in one ankle, which I’d never heard of, requiring IV antibiotics. Things I’ve learned: check the durned IV packs yourself to ensure they are sodium chloride rather than dextose based (the ER used Vancomycin in 5% dextrose…mainlining sugar! BG went to 163, I thought it might go to 200 or even 300), hospital dietians are challenging to deal with if you only eat very-low carb & eat every 4 hrs (ordering extra cottage cheese for dinner meant my nurse would save it for me for my bedtime snack) which reminded me of your last gasp of the dark ages blog (No salad dressing, please put some shredded cheese on my salad. No, you can’t have cheese *sigh*), eliminating Metformin didn’t see my BGs rise much (so I dropped to half dosage to reduce the nasal congestion it causes), hospital CPAPs are hideous, any BG reading above 120 produced a nurse offering insulin like it was candy…”no thanks, I already have enough insulin resistance, I don’t need more insulin” *sigh*.
I was part of a survey yesterday for a researcher (MD actually) in NY State on T2 diabetes and mentioned your blog as one of the best resources I’ve found for learning how to achieve my goal, which is not to manage my T2 but to eliminate the condition if possible (dependent on how many functional beta cells exist when I finally get all my wt off). He ordered Life Plan as we chatted (waay past the intended 25 min interview) as he revealed that he hadn’t actually read it at which point I chidded him (I also mentioned Atkins Diabetes Revolution). I said the ADA recommendation of 30 gms carb per snack and 60 per meal was completely inappropriate given what we now know about glucose biochemistry & the derangement that occurs in what is identified as T2 diabetes, the purpose of insulin, and the effects of the nutrients or lack thereof in what we consume. At the end, he said he was astonished about how much I knew and the extent of the changes I’d made (and supplements I take) to reach my goal — they just don’t give us much credit for intelligence do they *G*! I did mention that I prefer your blog to most of the diabetes-only sites as the posters here are quite a few steps above the average in knowledge/expertise and there is less of the ‘standard American medical practice’ nonsense posted here. I said I hoped the final outcome of his analysis would mention that some of us identified as having T2 have another path besides the ADA recommendations (self serving as they are, don’t eliminate diabetes), one that might actually eliminate the condition and reverse any deranged biochemistry based on having T2. They are gathering info on how T2s educate themselves about dealing with the condition following diagnosis (doctor info, other resources, etcetera), what questions remain unanswered, and if social networks were helpful (i.e., did we share ideas, etcetera)…in short, how have T2s learned about the condition, how are they dealing with it (eating, drugs, supplements, exercise, social activities like eating out, and psychologically with the link to depression), and what uncertainties remain. Interesting interview; they actually asked some of the right questions including the details of the challenges I faced in getting the info I needed and the negatives I had to deal with in learning how to deal with having T2.
Thanks for touting the books and the blog to the diabetes researcher. I’m glad you’re doing so well.
Actually, we are both from the South. And it used to be that there were many non-liberal bumper stickers every where, but now that it’s the New South, not so much anymore.
As a follower of Protein Power and your blog, I know you are an intelligent man who does his research before forming an opinion. I agree with your political assessment of California. My brothers company which is a supplier of goods to the motion picture industry is closing after 2o + years. Why? 2 years ago at this time there where 35 plus features being filmed in the L.A. area. This year, there are THREE. Seems that other states are giving productions tax breaks to film in their state while California is raising taxes. So much for the entertainment capitol of the world.
Anyway, I would love to help support your blog so could you please tell me how to make purchases at Amazon that would credit your blog? I assume it doesn’t just have to be your books, I need to purchase some other items as well
Thanks for all your great work and insights
Schwarzenegger was approached by many in the motion picture industry and told this very thing, i.e., that the movie biz was in dire straits. He was told that movies would be made in other states where tax incentives were being offered that that he should consider working to do the same thing in California to keep the movie industry there. His response was that the state was in a financial crisis and couldn’t afford the tax incentives. He obviously doesn’t understand economics the way he does body building. The industry decamped and now all the income tax and other taxes the state would have received had the movie industry staid are history. It’s the law of unintended consequences hard at work. Some people just never really get it, and I’m afraid Arnold is one who doesn’t.
Thanks for the offer to purchase books and other stuff through Amazon. All you need to do is click on any of the book icons on the front page of the blog. You will be taken to that particular book’s page on Amazon. Once there, you can navigate anywhere you want on Amazon, and Amazon will forward a small commission to this site on anything you purchase on that visit. Thanks again.
Sorry, I too have to agree that I was enjoying your blog until your post today.
And while it is your blog and you do have the right to post your political opinions, it did make me lose my love for you a little bit.
If you’re promoting PROTEIN POWER and your book, then better to do a personal blog on your politcal rantings elsewhere.
California and its tax situation is just the type of prime example a state government can set for the rest of the nation (not). Whats happening there is a shame. I thought CA was a state of creativity – they ought to figure their way out of their problems.
I tried posting yesterday, but the system kept identifying me as spam.
I’ll give it another try tonight.
Curious Farmer posted a link in which he mentioned a curious phenomenon that I have also experienced. Once he went low-carb he noticed more dental calculus. I’ve been doing low-carb for more than 20 years and have constantly found this to be a problem. Any explanations?
Your comment made it through this time. I don’t know what’s going on with the spam filter. It’s grabbing non-spam stuff right and left. But it’s also grabbing a lot more spam than normal. Maybe we’re in the middle of a spam storm that has caused the spam filters to increase their vigilance. Who knows?
Your experience with the dental calculus is the opposite experience that most people have. Most say that their calculus decreases. I’ve had countless patients tell me that their dentists had asked them if they were doing anything differently because they had so little calculus as compared to previous visits. Your is truly the first time I’ve heard this complaint. Any other readers out there care to weight in?
Could you please recommend a good book on type 2 diabetes that explains the truth but isn’t too technical? I just had a coffee break convo with a co-worker who’s husband has type 2 , and it seems to me that the coffee group was throwing around a lot of old, outdated ideas on diet and treatment. I have read good calories bad calories, your books, and some others of a low-carb bent, but would like some good info on diabetes in particular; I would like to understand this illness better,
Thanks so much,
My favorite diabetes book is Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. It has it all.
I’ve been a lurker for a while now and while I have nutrition questions, they’ll stay on hold so as to use my post here wisely. You comments moved me so much I had to register and say thank-you. What’s funny is that I came here looking for nutrition info and found kindred spirits in politics, clarity in thinking, and someone willing to stand up for his thoughts. What little hope can be had, is found knowing that there are others thinking similar thoughts about the state of affairs in the US. Thank-you for these thoughts(and of course the nutrition info) and if you get any ideas on what we can do to improve things I’m all ears.
At the risk of wasting everyone’s time, here’s a video I really like. It is an explanation of the various forms of government, and why America is not a democracy. It’s about 10″ but worth it and I made my kids and wife sit down and watch it.
I don’t know that I completely agree with how the debate is shaped in this YouTube. But I do know that the vast majority of people assume we live in a democracy and not a constitutional republic. It is a sad state of affairs when so many people haven’t a clue as to what kind of government they live under.
Dr Mike, would it be possible to write a post on what nutrients are exclusive to meat, such as B12 and creatine? I just came from a blog I admire very much, which has a post on the treatment of livestock in the US. To my distress, many of the commenters I admire have come out as vegetarians and vegans. Many of the comments take on that moralistic tone that vegetarians get–uck–that meat eaters are murderers, some claiming that the larger animals we eat are sentient !!. Cripes, it gets so stupid out there!
I would love to have a list of nutrients handy that can’t be had other than in meat.
This is a good idea. I’ll put one up in due course.
The ones that spring to mind right off the bat are B12, carnitine, taurine, alpha-lipoic acid, complete protein, zinc and heme iron. But I’m sure I can come up with others given a chance to think about it a little.
Hi Dr. Mike –
I thought the Odds and Ends post would be the best place to ask about this study that I’m starting to see get some traction in the mainstream press: “Meat Intake and Mortality” http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/169/6/562 Since I already sense by quickly looking it over that it’s not worth much, I’d love to see you have at it with your sharpest knives. It seems like a lame observational study, but they’re comparing types of meats on mortality (red, processed, white) not just looking at the meat or no meat question.
Also, for what it’s worth, I think it’s quite interesting when you go “off topic”. I like reading about things other than nutrition all the time. It’s your blog, go for it.
Thanks for the vote for the off-topic issues. I’m glad at least a few people are in my camp.
I have read this study, and you are right, it is a lame observational study. I plan a post on it and a few other studies that have come out contemporaneously that haven’t gotten the press coverage this one has.
Interesting report from the Congressional Budget Office on 2005 federal effective tax rates. Income here includes wages, interest and dividends, business income, capital gains, pension, in-kind income and imputed taxes. Taxes include income, payroll (Social Security and Medicare), federal excise, etc. So this appears to be a very comprehensve analysis of how much everyone is paying to the federal government.
Here are the effective tax rates and after tax household incomes:
Lowest quintile: 4.3 percent, $15,300
Second quintile: 9.9 percent, $33,700
Middle quintile: 14.2 percent, $50,200
Fourth quintile: 17.4 percent, $70,300
Percentiles 81-90: 20.3 percent, $96,100
Percentiles 91-95: 22.4 percent, $125,500
Percentiles 96-99: 25.7 percent, $200,500
Percentiles 99.0-99.5: 29.7 percent, $413,300
Percentiles 99.5-99.9: 31.2 percent, $830,100
Percentiles 99.9-99.99: 32.1 percent, $3,191,600
Top 0.01 Percentile: 31.5 percent, $24,286,300
Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to post the data. If you add to these federal taxes the state income taxes (in those states that have them), sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, car registration fees and personal property taxes, you can see that the overall tax burden is pretty substantial for just about everyone.
Today was my first visit to your blog. It is a pleasure to see that yours is not heavily moderated, as I always am a willing audience to receive amusement. Apparently some of the poor souls who wrote in had been misdirected to your site while looking for advise from a cranial proctologist.
That aside, I found the witty repartee quite amusing and youself a person with a good sense of humor.
I found your book by accident, found myself tired of all the diabetes medicine treadmill I was on and launched myself into the Protein Power diet. I enjoyed the fact that you explained all the reasons behind the rules. Love the detail.
I’ve been able to drop all the insulin I was injecting and have stopped taking my Janumet (Januvia and Metformin) while finding my glucose reading between 95 and 103 every morning. I think that’s not to shabby for only being on this for 2 weeks. Almost forgot the lisinopril for BP I no longer take.
I’ve lost 10+ pounds and my GP doc can’t believe what is happening. Don’t they teach any of this in medical schools? Are most of the docs leaning toward being toadies for the pharmaceutical companies?
Welcome aboard. I’m glad you found the blog and even gladder you found it to your liking.
I’m happy to hear you’ve done so well is such a short time on the program. Sadly, they don’t teach this stuff in most medical schools. It has to be learned at the university of hard knocks, and then only if one has an open mind.
Dr. Mike: Great work you’re doing. Moved out of California a number of years ago. Miss it, don’t miss the taxes. Great comments on the political situation going on in the country right now. This whole mess could have been avoided if those advocating houses for everyone, no credit no problem, no money no problem hadn’t occurred. Of course look who’s yelling the loudest in Congress right now. The folks who caused it! Unbelievable gall !
Another subject, big news yesterday about “Red Meat”. Eat another bit of it and you’ll die.(slight exaggeration,but you get the idea) You’re take on this?
“Low-carb gains a foothold”?
Perhaps not. I’m sure someone has already mentioned this news story: “Eating Red Meat Linked to Early Death.”
@Michael Blowhard —
I suspect the socialist elitists are more likely to support having government push whatever happens to be the prevailing dietary wisdom. Right now, that’s low-fat. (That being said, I have noticed that every vegetarian I know personally leans left politically, save for one.)
Dr. Mike and I had conducted a full day’s worth of interviews and corresponded for some months before we ever discussed politics, but I suspected he was a fellow libertarian for one simple reason: he made it clear from the start that he doesn’t think it’s good for people to eat fast food, but he was also against using taxes or regulations to discourage anyone from visiting McDonald’s. That’s a very libertarian attitude.
Plus it was obvious that he’s blessed with a screamingly high IQ, so he HAD to be a libertarian (wink-wink-nudge-nudge).
Since I started low carbing in earnest 6 months ago, I have noticed that I don’t need to re-brush anymore. By that I mean after I’m done brushing but before I floss, I look over my teeth — when I used to eat bread and sugar, I would typically see a couple of trouble spot gaps where I could see some white remaining in the cracks of the teeth. Now, I rarely see them, though I can predict the days that I’ll see them.
That red meat study is hitting all the papers today – hope to see your breakdown soon so I can send it to all the naysayers who are emailing me today.
For Dan, who was looking for more info on Type 2 diabetes, while I agree completely with the recommendation of Dr. Bernstein’s book, I’d also like to recommend the website Blood Sugar 101 ( http://www.bloodsugar101.com ) — it’s got a ton of information about the disease and all the different mechanisms by which glucose metabolism goes awry, and is possibly even more useful than Dr. Bernstein’s book for the non-insulin-using Type 2. And you can get most of the information in book form if you’re more comfortable with that format or want something you can hand out to those who are.
You obviously aren’t living in the South, which is dominated by Republicans where I live. What you get is a repressive social atmosphere–no gays, atheists, hippies, or pro-choicers generally allowed.
Dr Mike, it will be good to have that list of meat nutrients!
Nancy R brings up a study on meat mortality–well, a couple of years ago, in the Monday Health section of the LATimes, there was an article on centenarians. A famous hospital has a “collection” of some 400 centenarians around the world that they study. They were frustrated in that they couldn’t find many habits or diets in common that could be said to add to their longevity except for ONE thing–THEY ALL ATE MEAT! There was not one vegetarian in the collection!
I can’t get to the article–if someone can find it and post a link here?
Hi Dr. Eades. I wanted to let you know some encouraging personal news.
At your suggestion when I was frustrated with my grandfather’s kidney situation (T2 diabetes, 25 years, kidneys starting to fail), I sent him Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution last week. He had been ordered on a low potassium diet for awhile by his doc around a month ago. Incidentally, it seems this is a slightly carb limiting diet as well, although he can still have one piece of white bread daily and is eating that. He is not allowed to have bananas and a lot of other carb-heavy stuff so I suspected he is incidentally controlling his BG in addition to ridding the body of potassium.
He has now read the book almost in entirety and told me he’s learned a ton.
Here are the results of 3-4 weeks on the low potassium diet (a semi-low-carb diet, I’m honestly not sure exactly how many grams he’s eating daily) and after just 1 week of reading Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution:
25 lbs. weight loss in approximately a month
waking glucose levels down to 95… not sure what they were before but it’s an improvement.
Insulin usage down more than 50% — used to be 8-10 units at a time, now down to around 4 at a time. His diet is not even uber low carb.
He and my grandmother are pretty excited about these positive results, although he is finding the diet limiting. I suspect that if they just get over a bit more of their fear of fat they will be a bit more satisfied on such a diet. Also, once he is able to be off the low potassium diet his range of choices will increase a bit but I get the sense they will both definitely continue low carbing.
This is great news. Thanks for passing it along.
I’m looking forward to your analysis of the “meat Intake and mortality” study mentioned above. I don’t have the understanding of proper study procedures and methodolgoies, but i trust you. This study made a huge splash in our local newspaper today:
Dr. Eades-You asked about dental calculus. I’ve been eating low-carb for years (not losing weight but feeling great). Several months ago, I happened upon Charles Washington’s blog site and started a zero-carb diet.
It was difficult for me to eat just meat/fat/water, not the water part, but I’m not a lover of meat. I was vegetarian for 60 misguided years and I’m thinking that part of the reason was my innate distate for meat. But, I did it, eating tri-tip steaks and pork-loin chops with just a drop of sriracha for seasoning.
Last week, I had my usual periodontal visit (four times yearly) and it was a blood bath. Doc said that my gums were hugely inflamed and, for the first time in years, there were masses of plaque/calculus. I was extremely discouraged since one of my goals (at 76) is to have my teeth intact until cremation.
Since I had no other health issues during this time, I’m wondering whether the straight meat/fat created the dental problem. Could it be that carbs, while not necessary, do have some beneficial aspects; perhaps the organic greens that I was eating in salads every day had an effect either as a broom-sweeping abrasive that kept my teeth cleaner or could it have been the nutrients in the greens?
So now I’m on the fence, wondering whether to return to my fairly strict Protein-Power eating or continue the zero carb way. My teeth mean more to me than my waistline.
I have thought a lot about this issue. I doubt that Paleolithic man ate nothing but meat. According to the literature, he ate pretty much whatever fell into his path that he could eat. I’m sure that nuts, roots, shoots and tubers were a part of his diet. Is there something in this plant matter that helps prevent calculus? Does the act of chewing this fibrous material help scrape off forming calculus? Are you eating well-done meat (I would suspect so, since most people who don’t like meat, like it least when it’s rare or medium rare)? If so, you could be a little vitamin C deficient. Stefansson demostrated that fresh, lightly cooked meat contains an antiscorbutic ( a substance that prevents scurvy), which is lost when meat is cooked to much. There are a number of variables at work here. And I’m continuing my quest to figure it out.
My last visit to the dentist came with the pleasant surprise of a very fast cleaning and no cavities, even though I have been very careless about brushing my teeth before bed. I am in ketosis much of the time, and for me that translates into buffalo breath–I can taste it. But it seems to be protective against tooth/gum problems.
re: Dental calculus.
I am assuming that that is what we layteeth call “plaque”–the gunk that gets cleaned off twice a year by our dentists. If so, I have had had notably cleaner teeth since beginning low carb. When I stray (the dreaded holidays and vacations), the plaque and even some gum swelling and bleeding returns.
Just one final comment on the objections raised to your political postings. I somehow doubt that the posters who claim to be offended by political musings on a blog that is “supposed” to be about health and nutrition would be equally offended if said musings agreed with their political beliefs and allegiances rather than challenged them. There would then be hearty amens all around, I suspect.
“I’m afraid to ask what was in the low carb section….”
Bicycles . . .
They pull that overbooking scam at the hospitals here (UK), I am losing count of the number of people whose three monthly/six monthly appointment has been put out another nine months, and sometimes more than once. I suspect whenever they do that you are taken off the waiting list and put onto a new waiting list, so it’s a good way of keeping waiting lists short without improving patient care.
“Our Father Which art in Washington, give us this day our daily calcium propionate, sodium diacetate monoglyceride, potassium bromate, calcium phosphate, monobasic chloramine T, aluminium potassiumsulphate, sodium benzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole, mono-iso-propyl citrate, axerophthol and calciferol. Include with it a little flour and salt. Amen.”
That was John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up written in 1972
A friend recently posted a food label that was about twice that long. Never eat food with small print.
My teeth are infinitely better on low carb, except for the one that exploded the other day when I chewed down on a handful of nuts. Total mechanical breakdown but still very little plaque.
ADA information on low carbing is hidden away in a locked filing cabinet in the basement past the notice saying BEWARE OF THE LEOPARD
they funded this themselves but don’t like to talk about it, except the most recent Position Statements say perhaps low carbing might work only it has never been tested in long term trials so DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!
Politics? Whoever you vote for the government always gets in. And that doesn’t change the guys who actually run things. Our local culture is predominantly small businesses dealing with other small businesses, no-one creaming off the profits and taking them elsewhere so I reckon we are more likely to survive the recession than most. Though you will have your work cut out since the Bushites have asset stripped your country. They’ve done what the Islamic Terrorists failed to do.
Dr Mike, have you see this clip? If you havent, hope you and everyone else can find it intresting. I did, pretty cool details! let me know what you think?
I’ve seen it. I think I even posted on a couple of years ago.
Sigh. Does it ever stop? More obsession with fat.
It will never stop with the lipophobes.
I don’t know about your theory that people move because of taxes. By that standard there should be no one left in Massachusetts. When I hear about people wanting to move it is almost always because of one of two reasons: general cost of living, and they found a higher-paying job somewhere else. I almost never hear complaint about taxes except as a general complaint of the type where the person just wants to whine and not actually do anything about it.
It should be noted that both mortgages and rents in California are astronomically high, perhaps because the state is a desirable one in which to live for many people. If they don’t go for Hollywood then they go for the redwoods. It’s possible that rent control plays a role with rental properties but that doesn’t explain the mortgages. Las Vegas is an expensive place to live for the same reason. It also doesn’t help that both regions are dry and must have water imported from elsewhere. That drives up the price of everything else.
Regressive taxes are called regressive precisely because they make everyone pay the same percentage right down to people who can’t afford to pay for anything at all. A flat tax above a certain income threshold would be more progressive than a flat sales tax that is slapped on everybody. I used to live in Tennessee and when I left, the state sales tax BASE was nine percent. That’s not counting anything the local governments pile on top. Guess who suffered more from the tax and who suffered less. And they didn’t have exemptions for food, either. (Man, that hurt!)
I don’t know what it’s like to run a business and have to deal with any extra taxes from that, but I’m perpetually surprised that business owners whine that much about them. Wouldn’t they simply be termed a cost of business? As such, if a business is profiting on top of those costs, what’s the problem? You have to pay for supplies, rent or mortgage on a building if your business has one, wages for employees, etc. You’re going to have to pay taxes either way you look at it, high or low. And businesses may create jobs but in some cases they also place a strain on the state’s resources and if they don’t pay their share of taxes then state residents who might have nothing to do with that business at all are going to have to foot the bill. If it’s a bad idea to pay for welfare or food stamps, why should Joe Blow Citizen have to pay for a toxic spill cleanup? But they always do. It’s a shame.
The problem with taxes is that they can’t be controlled or managed as other expenses can. For instance, if I have a business in California, I can work to keep my raw materials costs and all other costs low to be competitive. I can constantly be looking for better deals from different vendors and search for other ways to cut costs. I can move to industrial parts of town where rents are cheaper. I can do all kinds of things to manage my costs in an effort to be competitive, but I can manage taxes. I will always have to charge more than someone in a similar business in Nevada where there is no tax. Therefore, if really want to be competitive, I move my business to a state where the tax rates are lower or non-existent. It doesn’t matter as much if I’m competing only with other California companies because they are all operating under the same tax burden, but it makes a huge difference when I try to compete with those companies in other states.
Also, if a vendor decides to raise prices on me, I can start looking for another vendor with better prices. If the State of California decides to raise taxes on me, I’m screwed. Unless, of course, I move. Which many businesses have done.
Hey Doc, read the following. Are we similar to hamsters in this particular area of physiology? Comments?
Turns out the polyphenols in Chardonnay grape seeds may also help the body regulate its metabolism, even prevent obesity. In recent lab testing, scientists at the University of Montpellier wanted to see if grape seed extract could prevent weight gain in hamsters. Test subjects were divided into three groups:
1. Subjects fed a normal diet
2. Subjects fed a high-fat diet
3. Subjects fed a high-fat diet but supplemented with the grape seed extract
Not surprisingly, after 12 weeks the test subjects fed a normal diet maintained a healthy weight. Subjects on the high-fat diet gained abdominal fat. These hamsters also experienced spikes in blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and insulin resistance.
And what about the grape seed group? Could they keep off the fat?
The grape seed group did keep off the fat! Despite receiving a high-fat diet, they did not increase their abdominal fat.
So, how did they eat more fat without gaining, you ask?
It appears that Chardonnay grape seeds somehow “turned off” the body’s “switch” to retain fat. In fact, the high-fat/grape seed hamsters had 61 percent more adiponectin in their blood than their high-fat alone counterparts. Adiponectin is inversely related to body fat. The more adiponectin your body produces, the less fat you collect.
Plus, the news just kept getting better for the grape seed group. They experienced improvements in several key markers of good health.
Insulinemia (abnormally high insulin in the blood) decreased by 16.5 percent in the high-fat/grape seed group. Leptinemia (a marker for diabetes) decreased by 45 percent. The researchers also noted lowered glycemia and insulin resistance values among the high-fat/grape seed group.
Lastly, the high-fat/grape seed group experienced significant drops in two measures of oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress contributes directly to the formation of free radicals in the body.) But as an antioxidant, the grape seed extract seems to counteract oxidative stress in the test subjects. Production of NAD(P)H dropped by 30 percent and superoxide anion dropped by a whopping 74 percent. This is good news, as unchecked oxidative stress has been linked to everything from premature aging to cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
If this is like most of these studies, the amount of extract is huge. And I doubt that humans would respond the same, anyway. And if so, would be unlikely to take the dosages required.
“If you see a car ahead of you in traffic and you can see that there are a thousand bumper stickers plastered all over it, you can be almost 100 percent positive that when you get close enough to read them, you’ll find that they are all liberal bumper stickers.”
So true about bumper stickers, Dr. Eades! I go to school in Durham, and cannot escape the in-your-face liberal Obamania that has taken hold here in the Research Triangle/my university campus! It’s enough to make one apolitical if you’re not as well spoken as yourself regarding political science and economics. It’s difficult to cram current events and op-ed columns into your brain alongside chemistry problem sets and biology life cycle charts for pre-med!
Please keep sharing your political commentary! I come here for the nutrition research analysis, but stay for your humor and wit that make for engaging writing. I am always sharing your posts with my friends/family, who I am slowly converting to the high fat, low carb, nutrient dense dietary approach. Of course the erythritol-sweetened low carb sweets I make seem to help with doing the convincing. Good food talks, apparently. I admire what you do and hope to have accomplished even half as much as you have in the medical/nutrition world some day!
I am new to your sight. My husband and I are following a low-carb way of eating based, primarily, on your book “Protein Power” that I read quite a while ago. So far, so good.
I was surprised to find political commentary on your blog. My husband and I recently left the Republican party, due to their lack of commitment to ‘common sense’ conservative values. We both fear greatly for our country. I find your blog not only informative for nutritional information, but now will view it even more for the political commentary.
You sound like a person of strong convictions. Please, keep your opinions coming. OUR COUNTRY DESPERATELY NEEDS YOUR VOICE!
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Never make the mistake of assuming that airlines are going to make any decisions that may benefit passengers (or their own employees) that may affect their bottom line! My husband’s job as an airline pilot has recently been sacrificed by UNITED AIRLINES (for the second time, mind you, since 9/11) upon the altar of poor management and corporate greed. You can expect extreme overbooking and bumping to become the norm now.
I LOVE the fact that you speak your mind. I believe that the 1st amendment gaurantees this right to you…..at least for a little longer. We have very similar political views, btw. I find it so funny that you post one negative thing about liberals or democrats, and they swarm. I actually use this as a marketing tool on one of my blogs. I will bash a liberal political figure under my normal blogger identity, then under the guise of a “ghost writer”, post a somewhat positive blog entry. I have received huge spikes of traffic from the ever tolerant and oh-so loving liberals of this country. Just as a warning….don’t do a Carrie Prejean…..then you will REALLY be cut up and thrown into the bay. I would miss your blog and and insights, so I would be really sad.
I don’t set out to offend anyone. And I don’t try to muzzle myself either. As my childhood hero Popeye the Sailor says, I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam. Based on comments such as yours and others, I would guess that my readership is roughly 50-50 as to a conservative-liberal bias. But liberals are much more vocal. If I publish anything anti conservative, I don’t get much, if any, commentary. If I post something anti liberal, they come out of the woodwork.
And, BTW, I don’t consider myself conservative at all, at least not in the Republican sense of conservative. My political bent is libertarian.
I used to be a card-carrying liberal, but somewhere along the line I woke up to the hypocrisy of liberal intolerance and “progressiveness”, and tore up my card sometime in the middle of the 2nd Clinton administration. Major life changes (marriage, moving from one coast to another, motherhood) opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn’t been seeing because I kept them squeezed shut too often (cognitive dissonance, I’m sure).
My views are all over the spectrum now, so I don’t belong to any political party more nor have I found a party to join or “call home”, but do find myself taking the libertarian path more often. I still vote, but it’s torture in the big elections deciding how to cast my vote, or I cave and give the lesser of the two evils my vote.
You know, be careful what you wish for, you may get it…
My biggest problem with card-carrying liberals is their lack of tolerance. They preach tolerance and are willing to be tolerant toward almost anything except criticism of liberals. This can be seen anytime I write any kind of post that has the least anti-liberal slant.