Monday, January 13, 2014

Recent changes

I've been at this carnivory lifestyle for years now, and I'm still learning how to improve it.

Here are two examples:

  1. I stopped eating dairy products mid-November.

    I already knew I couldn't eat cottage cheese or yoghurt, without experiencing cravings, but I also gave up hard cheese (which I didn't eat a lot of, but sometimes at parties), butter, and heavy cream. I am slowly but surely dropping size. I've been worrying about these last 10 pounds for a couple of years, and now my regular pants are falling down. Go figure. I mean, Go, Figure! That's without extra exercise (the running I talked about in August lasted only a few weeks, and even the weightlifting I usually do was mostly left out over the holidays) and without restricting calories by design.

    I interpret this to mean that dairy products were interfering with my satiety, perhaps because of the extra insulin boost they induce. Unfortunately, I haven't had serum ketone strips for a while, so I don't know if this corresponds to higher ketones or not.

  2. I more fully embraced lard.

    I set aside the butter, and more recently I also set aside the coconut oil. (I didn't use coconut oil when I started carnivory, but I have used it for a long time in the hopes of increasing ketones, and to enjoy in the Bullet-Proof-style coffee.) I have been known to eat mayonnaise from time to time, just because it tastes good on cold chicken, even though I would otherwise never touch soy or canola oil. I stopped doing that, too.

    You know what I've re-discovered?

    Bacon drippings. I've been dutifully collecting the stuff for years, filtering it through a paper towel, and frying with it. Still, it always would get to the point where I had more than I was using. But now I'm eating it.

    • With a little salt, I think it is just as good as mayonnaise for egg or chicken salad.
    • I blend it into broth, and a cup of that is every bit as delicious as a bullet-proof coffee in my book.
    • I still fry with it, but I add more than I used to.
    • I dip bites of leaner meat into it.

    I've shifted my attitude further in the direction of considering fat a food, and in considering plants to be suboptimal sources, even if they happen to have MCTs or high saturated fat content.

    Don't forget that fat is actually an organ. Whoever said that skin was the largest organ in the body was wrong. Lard doesn't just have a beautiful fatty acid profile. It has choline, a little zinc and selenium, vitamin E, and a lot of vitamin D.

Oh yeah, and in stark contrast to butter and coconut oil, it is essentially free. It's a by-product of something the family already eats, and my rate is still below the supply.


  1. dairy causes an extra insulin boost? how so?

    1. Oops. Comments got unthreaded. See below for some responses.

  2. Hi Amber,

    Thanks for the update!

    I also have to avoid cream cheese and yoghurt due to not being able to stop eating them once I've started. Similar to what you used to do, I limit my consumption of cheeses to situations where I don't have control over which foods are available. But I don't have issues with butter or coconut oil, both of which I use almost daily. I have cream from time to time, usually in coffee about once a week.

    Anyway, do you have any idea or gut feel :-) about how much of the benefit is attributable to switching from butter and coconut oil to lard and how much is attributable to cutting out cheeses and heavy cream?

    By the way, there's an extra "> in the hyperlink to the lard post, which breaks the link.

    1. Hello, gupe.

      I quit the dairy more than a month before getting off coconut oil and more onto lard, which has only been a couple of weeks. So the weight aspect I attribute to dairy.

      The lard benefit is so far mainly financial, and just marks a shift in attitude.

      I haven't tested the butter by itself. It might be fine for me. Or perhaps ghee.

      Thank you for noting the broken link!

    2. Thanks. This matches my experience with dairy. I might try ghee when my butter next runs out!

    3. I also do not receive a clear "stop" signal when eating hard cheese or sour cream. I have no problem with butter. I don't like the taste or mouth feel of ghee, so I don't eat it. Dr. Newbold's, author of the classic but little known book "The Type A/Type B Weight Loss Diet" put his obese patients on a diet comprised exclusively of ribeye stakes. He considered dairy to be a "new food" in evolutionary terms (akin to grains) and that they triggered over consumption of calories. He helped many people over the years. He himself lived on ribeyes stakes for almost 3 decades before dying from an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic. His book is a must read for anyone considering a diet based on meat only.

  3. Amber,

    This is really interesting. I know I have a degree of dairy intolerance, which shows up (when acute) as eczema on my fingers.

    Not wanting to give up the "benefits" entirely, and expressly not a starry eyed "paleoer", I have been using Ghee pretty liberally, assuming that once the prolines were reduced to practically zero, I'd be "in the clear".

    BUT - what other health issues might be influenced by traces of prolines, residual fat soluble hormones and the like?

    I don't need any convincing - I'm leading the cow out of my kitchen.

    All the best

    1. Hi, Bill. I hadn't known about prolines. Tell me more.

    2. I'm a chemist, not a biochemist (first confession) - but I picked up from the blogosphere (Matt Lelonde, Robb Wolf, and maybe Chris Kresser) that gluen and dairies display some cross reactivity, which is probably attributable to the proline content, rendering them partially digestible, and leading to autoimmune cascade. Egg white (not yolk) is high in proline too.... I have a hunch I'm intolerant to all 3, but I'm only just getting to grips with sorting this out (2nd confession).

      My personal issue is hoarseness, which has gradually become persistent - endoscopy all clear, so having ruled out anything "serious", or polyps, I'm left with food intolerance.

      Sean Croxton can be quoted saying he got rid of persistent hoarseness by cutting out eggs.

      I'm looking forward to testing yolks further down the line... ever tried a 100% yolk omelette? They are the lightest, fluffiest ever!

      If you get stumped on searching prolines on Robb's or Chris's sites, I'll endeavour to help :)

    3. Oh, should just mention the prolines are part of the peptides in those foods :)


      BUT proline rich colostrum appears to reverse allergy? Time to study...


      Seems I have it all wrong? Or rather, prolines can be a good thing or a bad thing!!

    6. I don't know. I found it hard to find a food list, but I did see claims that gelatin is high in them, which is generally considered "good". On the other hand egg whites are common allergens.

    7. This is really interesting. I have been eating eggs every day since beginning my LCHF diet about 3 weeks ago and I have been persistently "horse." I have never eaten eggs prior to this, so it is a co pleas ly new food for me. Whether or not it is do to prolines might be debatable, but eliminating the whites is probably a worthwhile experiment as a first corse of action.

    8. Thank you Bill Rowles...I have spasmodic dysphonia and wondered if there was a dietary link...I started eating eggs for breakfast when I went off wheat as per Eat Right 4 Your Type O but have been having them daily since before 2010...and my dysphonia has gotten worse...time to put my eggs into another basket?

  4. @unknown: It's not been established exactly how dairy causes a rise in insulin production; it's just been observed in tests. If you google "Dairy and insulin production" you'll come up with a few links; see also "insulin index." Here's one study that was blogged about by both Dr. William Davis and Peter Dobromylskyj:

    1. Here are some other papers on that topic:

      Milk as a supplement to mixed meals may elevate postprandial insulinaemia.

      Glycemia and insulinemia in healthy subjects after lactose-equivalent meals of milk and other food proteins: the role of plasma amino acids and incretins

      Also, this is interesting: Metabolic and endocrine responses to a milk feed in six-day-old term infants: differences between breast and cow's milk formula feeding.

      That latter one is about infants. In case you didn't know, infants are normally in ketosis. They compared some infants on a cow-milk-based formula with human milk, and the former had higher insulin and lower ketones.

    2. Also raise IGF1 - a well known cancer marker.... IGF1 is for infants, not adults, whose cells do not want the instruction "grow, grow, grow"....

    3. ...and what about coconut oil? insulinogenic? btw, this is Sean Baker. I signed in my Google account. I have no idea why it comes up as "unknown".

    4. Bill, I don't know if the insulinogenic property generalises to cream and butter. Good question! I bet some cheap BG readings could be useful here.

      Sean "Unknown" Baker—Ha. Nice to see you. No idea about CO.

    5. so I guess I'm just curious about the rationale behind dropping butter and coconut oil, and cream to a lesser extent. ~the unknown Baker :)

    6. Well, the butter was just part of the dairy. I've heard at least a few people say they feel better without any dairy including butter.

      Then the coconut oil was a separate move, and that was not really about a suspected intolerance, but just to try relying more on the lard, since it is cost effective and healthy. I'm not really committed to not eating CO, so much as to use lard instead more often.

    7. Coconut oil is very high in salicylates and is not a good choice for people who are sensitive to them. Salicylates interfer with mitochondrial function.

  5. Hi Amber,
    I'm not sure if you're still working on ideas regarding gut bacteria/microbiome, but this paper is very interesting as to a mechanism:
    news release:

    1. Ah, thank you, Michael. I am still working on that topic. I produce at a slow rate, in part because I have many competing interests. ☺

    2. A slow rate perhaps, but definitely worth waiting for!
      Interestingly Richard tweeted the following about this study today: "Putting Low Carb in Short Pants One Leg at a Time...." That just goes to show that interpretation depends on one's perspective. I would have thought the opposite.

    3. I am late to this conversation and have done the fast fix, faster rebound, fast fashion, fast living, fast talking and did the slow turn, and am right into 'slow info'...thanks for your commitment.