Two things I’ve changed my mind about, part II: Phytic acid

Phytic acid is a substance found primarily in whole grains, beans, and nuts that reduces the absorption of specific minerals from food.  I previously wrote that minimizing phytic acid may be an important part of a healthy diet, but new evidence—and a reexamination of old evidence—has convinced me that it probably isn’t as important as I initially thought.  At least in the context of a diverse, omnivorous diet.

Continue Reading

Two things I’ve changed my mind about, part I: Butter

I like to believe I can update my beliefs when presented with new evidence or a better interpretation of the same body of evidence, rather than clinging to my old beliefs.  In the next two posts, I’ll discuss two examples where that has happened.  Years ago, I argued that butter may make positive contributions to health. Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Announcing the Bland Food Cookbook

Old April Fools post! My book The Hungry Brain explains why we overeat and offers strategies to combat it, but it doesn’t go into great detail on how to apply this knowledge.  One of the most potent drivers of overeating is food reward, or the seductiveness of food that drives us to eat things like cookies, chocolate, fancy coffee drinks, bacon,Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Meta-analysis: Impact of carbohydrate vs. fat calories on energy expenditure and body fatness

Sometimes, a meta-analysis (quantitative study of studies) is just what the doctor ordered to inoculate us against the shortcomings of our own cognition.  When a topic has been studied extensively and it has produced many studies of varying quality, this lends itself to incorrect conclusions because we can find studies to support almost any belief.  This isContinue ReadingContinue Reading

The impact of weight loss on the drive to eat

Weight loss engages a “starvation response” that acts to regain the lost weight, and this is a key reason why weight loss is difficult and often temporary.  This starvation response includes an increase in the drive to eat and a decrease in calorie expenditure.  Using a clever study design, Kevin Hall and colleagues recently quantified the contribution of eating driveContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Book Review: Syndrome X, The Silent Killer

Gerald Reaven is the researcher who first identified the state of insulin resistance and played a central role in defining its consequences.  Understanding insulin resistance is worthwhile, and if we want to do so, his work is one of the most informative places to look.  I recently read his general-audience book Syndrome X: The Silent Killer, and I’ll shareContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Bad sugar or bad journalism? An expert review of “The Case Against Sugar”.

I’ve been asked by a number of people to review Gary Taubes’s new book, The Case Against Sugar. I reluctantly agreed that it would probably be a good idea for me to do so. In this post, I’ll provide something that is not available anywhere else (to my knowledge): a review of the book fromContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Book Update

Hello, folks.  My book, The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts that Make Us Overeat is due to be released on February 7, and I’m very excited about it.  It’s substantially different from any other book on overeating and weight management, and I believe it will inject much-needed information into the public discourse on obesity.  Given thatContinue Reading

Goodbye, Staffan Lindeberg

I recently heard the sad news that Staffan Lindeberg, MD, PhD, lead researcher of the Kitava Study, has died. Staffan was a dedicated researcher and physician at Lund University in Sweden whose work was inspired by the evolutionary health principle.  After reading Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner’s seminal 1985 paper on Paleolithic nutrition, in Staffan’sContinue ReadingContinue Reading