Category Archives: Must-Read Articles

Must-See Video: The Function of Insulin Explained

Because one of its role in body fat storage, insulin often gets a bad rap in the ancestral health community.

Managing insulin secretion through diet is a good strategy for losing weight, but it is also important to understand that insulin performs vital functions in your body and is essential for your body to survive at all.

This short video from Kahn’s Academy is a good beginner’s guide to the function of insulin in fuelling your cells with glucose.

For an explanation of what happens to the glucose after it has entered your cells, see this video lecture by Doug McGuff, M.D.

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How to unravel science

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself,
and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard Feynman.

Headlines in newspaper, articles in magazines and programs on television offer new health guidelines every week and they often contradict each other.

You know the kinds of stories I am talking about. First garlic protects against heart disease, then suddenly it doesn’t. You read coffee is supposed to be full of antioxidants, then you see another story that says it causes cancer. It is all very confusing. It makes you wonder what information to trust and what to dismiss.

Tom Naughton did a lecture on this at the Low Carb Cruise:

Ben Goldacre also did a presentation on this topic at TED:

In summary:

  • If you really want to know whether you can trust the research you read about, you need to know how the research was conducted.
  • Don’t be intimidated by science. A bit of critical thinking is all you need to determine if the information you are given is worth paying attention to. Tom Naughton’s lecture offers tips on this.
  • Know the difference between an observational study and a clinical study. Observational studies try to find correlations between events and outcomes. They are useful for developing hypotheses, but are not conclusive proof of anything.
  • Be aware that most health coverage in popular media is based on findings from observational studies.

More than ever, it’s critical to think critically. Bad information travels fast on the internet. Guard yourself by learning how to sniff out the good stuff from the bad.

Further Reading:

Science 101 Tutorial by Tim Huntley at My Athletic Life

Book: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Article: Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science by David H. Freeman, The Atlantic

Article: Why almost everything you hear about medicine is wrong by Sharon Begley, The Daily Beast

Must-read article: High cholesterol and heart disease – myth or truth?

Many people believe dietary fat increases cholesterol and that this leads to heart disease. In the medical establishment this is known as the Lipid Hypothesis. A growing number of research scientists now believe this hypothesis is oversimplified and mostly wrong. Despite this, most doctors still advocate a low-fat diet rich in wholegrain along with a preference for vegetable oils over animal fats.

Chris Masterjohn has made a name for himself on the blogosphere by addressing common misconceptions about cholesterol.  In this article he analyses the available literature on the topic, and gives his view on what the real truth is.

“High cholesterol and heart disease – myth or truth”

Ask your doctor to read this if he or she has concerns about the fat content of a Primal diet.

Here is also a brief video primer:

Must-Read Article: Top 10 Low-Carb Movers & Shakers

Few people campaigns as vigorously for the low-carb and ancestral health movements as Jimmy Moore. His blogs, podcasts and YouTube channel are fantastic resources I access regularly.

In this article Jimmy Moore nominates the Top-10 Low-Carb Movers & Shakers of 2011. This list is a good place to start if you want to do your own research on low-carb and ancestral approaches to healthy living.

Top 10 Low-Carb Movers & Shaker of 2011

Disclaimer
This blog reflects my personal opinions and experiences. None of the material I make available should be construed as medical advice, nor should it replace proper medical consultation. If this blog inspires you to start your own weight loss program, I encourage you to consult a medical professional. If you, your friends or your doctors wish to question or challenges any information on this blog, I welcome your feedback. Please leave a comment by the relevant blog article.
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