We now have to address the notion that a muscle isn’t able to readily burn fat, preferring instead to burn carbohydrates. This, of course, is still the contention of J. P. Flatt and of most scientists. It’s also the basis of the argument against the high-fat diet and the basis for supporting the high-carbohydrate diet. In 1971, N. B. Ruderman showed that “ketone bodies are a major oxidative fuel when present in sufficient concentration, and acetoacetate serves as a fuel in preference to exogenous long-chain FFA and glucose.” In plain language, ketones are a form of fat and a muscle would rather burn ketones than fat released from the fat cell or blood sugar, glucose.

Science’s misunderstanding of this critical issue is a direct function of its reliance on the unworkable glucose-loving belief system. Boxed into this hole, science has remained incapable of understanding that the long-held belief that muscle can’t burn fat is not a fact. Muscle’s apparent inability to burn fat is a function of a lack of adaptation.

Science’s continued ignorance concerns this important truth of metabolism. It’s also an irrefutable indication that the bulk of the last half-century of scientific research on fuel use has been, in a sense, a waste. Not because nothing of value turned up, but because the interpretive process was driven by ideology, that is, the ideology of fitting the interpretation into a box: the glucose belief system. 

In a study I mentioned earlier by Dr. Stubbs, his group found that a reduction in carbohydrate intake to about 0% doesn’t lead to increases in food intake: “Our findings provide no support for the components of the Flatt model that propose that food intake is directly controlled by changes in glycogen status.” Flatt’s model is, of course, that carbohydrates and the body’s store of them as glycogen, control food intake. Stubb’s study presents the first contradiction to Flatt’s theory. As I’ve stated, the diets tested by scientists like Flatt are always high-fat and high-carbohydrate. In the cause of honesty, the scientist must use the correct term for that diet: high-fat and high-carbohydrate. It’s that diet that must be damned, surely not — not ever — the true, a true, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

Let’s now close this chapter, this chapter in the book, but also the whole chapter in dietary science that has sought to understand what fuel humans use at the cellular level and how they use it. This gets us close to an understanding of the ultimate diet and to an understanding of exactly what one should eat, if, that is, he wants to eat optimally. Humans can survive eating almost anything, but the question that I’m addressing is what’s optimal in our quest of good health and long life.

Our purpose here has been to comprehend the cultural and scientific forces that have sought to convince us that man is primarily an eater of carbohydrates. The historical record, however, shows that man’s earliest movement toward an agricultural culture was a result of the depletion of his resources and of overwhelming economic forces. After this earliest period, food became an ever-more important consideration of his ever-more complex and complicated social engineering. With the advent of modern science, in the last several hundred years, investigations into how man has processed the foods he eats have become a matter of great interest; indeed, food has become one of the most important of our socio-cultural artifacts.

During the last fifty years, the science of nutrition has become strongly integrated with the art (not science) of medicine. There has been a melding of science with medicine so that now both have come to occupy the same campus and municipal buildings.

This union created an implicit monopoly that bedazzles the scientist almost as much as the layman. Today, it’s rare for anybody to trust his own instincts, observations, and experiences over those of the medical man, the scientist, or the scientific report: Until they have a scientific finding in their head, most people can’t, or won’t, act on their own instincts. Unfortunately, the conduits of these studies are lay writers or journalists, or even the medical man (not scientist); hence the “science” is usually garbled and confusing and, at best, misinforming.

One of the results of the mopping-up work of traditional science is the plethora of technical details that accrues to such work: technical details and, sometimes, important discoveries. Also, sometimes, yet-more glitches appear against the current beliefs.

A recent “discovery” that rewarded our harried researchers and technicians has been the development of the pulse-chase technique that measures the use by muscle of its stores of fat, intramuscular triglycerides. Importantly, the pulse-chase method allows researchers to measure fat that’s burned from within the muscle’s storage depot, as well as fat that arrives from the blood. This technique was first developed in 1997 and has settled an impasse of the last several decades: It allows researchers to partition the sources of fat that fuel exercise. It has been discovered that, during aerobic exercise, 62% of the muscle’s fuel comes from stored fat. In tests of more intense work — when a muscle is forced to contract strongly (weightlifting-type contractions) — 90% of the fuel comes from stored fat.

By now, 2021, all of the biochemical pathways and the substances that control them have been worked out. On-going research is looking at these issues in more detail, uncovering, in the process, the molecular and genetic basis for the production of protein enzymes. But, we don’t really need these discoveries to teach us what to eat and how to solve the obesity epidemic.

Mitochondria, as you now know, are organelles found inside cells. The cell’s powerhouses, mitochondria extract the energy from the food we eat. Mitochondria burn fat, carbohydrates, or a mixture of the two fuels. Two enzymes act as gatekeepers, delivering either fat or carbohydrate into mitochondria. These enzymes are reciprocally controlled: as one turns-on, the other turns-off. Each has a maximal low and high rate of activity, and everything in between. The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) determines the rate of glucose entry into the mitochondria and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT 1) determines the rate of fat entry.

Either enzyme can be inhibited or activated. In a recent study, high-fat/low-carbohydrate feeding for twenty-eight days led to a significant reduction in the ability of PDC to deliver glucose into mitochondria. This is the type of strong evidence that’s now developing about how diet regulates fuel flow at the enzymatic level. To choose an ideal diet, or an effective exercise program, one must understand the “mechanism of action” effected at the cellular level. My programs “reverse engineer” the choice of diet or exercise as dictated by cellular and enzyme function. First, we find out how the body works; when that’s understood, the strategy appropriate to that understanding and knowledge presents itself.

All existing diet and exercise programs are the result of an idea in someone’s head. Often the idea is rooted in some fragment of information possessed by that particular “someone.” More often, it’s agenda-based, arising from a strongly held belief system. The medical Establishment’s dietary recommendations are belief system-based; they’re not based on how things actually work in the body itself, particularly at the site of control, cellular enzymes.

The mechanism of action is dictated by what goes on inside the cell. In this formulation, cellular activity dictates the response at the whole body level.

As I’ve shown, fat is an important source of fuel during low- and moderate-intensity exercise. Taken together, feeding fat and exercise training increase the body’s ability to use fat while depressing the use of glucose and glycogen. A decades-long argument among nutrition scientists has its roots in the matter of fuel and its sources: fat and glucose from the blood, and fat (as intramuscular triglycerides) and glucose (as glycogen) from inside the tissues. Also involved in this heated debate is the question: At what intensity of exercise does fat burning slow down.

My argument, of course, has revolved around the idea that the slow burning of fat is simply a function of the body’s limited-ability to burn fat when it’s still carbohydrate-adapted. Even in Dr. Ruderman’s study, cited above, rat muscle preferred to burn ketone-fat, choosing it over fat in the blood and glucose; his animals were not fat-adapted but carbohydrate adapted, and they still chose to burn fat. This limited-fat-burning ability is simply a function of a reduction in the fat burning enzymes.

The body automatically reduces these enzymes when its exposure to fat is low or when its exposure to carbohydrate is above a threshold amount: higher than 25% of one’s total daily calorie intake. Predictably enough, the enzymes that process carbohydrates increase in response to carbohydrate eating. That fat is the primary fuel of the body is beyond dispute; if both fat feeding and exercise co-exist, then the body remodels itself, becoming in the process an efficient user of fat. Remodeling, of course, occurs in response to any mix of dietary fuels and is dependent upon the mix.

Resultant adaptations allow one to process most efficiently that which he eats. He won’t, however, experience a fat-adapted economy if he consumes fat along with carbohydrate. The fat-adapted economy can evolve only when carbohydrate restriction falls to a threshold at which carbs are about 25% or less of one’s total daily calorie intake. Twenty-five percent is only the starting point, however, and reductions to even lower percents cause an even more efficient adaptation.

What’s the ideal percent? We don’t know. But what works very well, while also practical as to what people can and are willing to do seems to me to be around 10-15% of one’s total daily calorie intake. Would 0% work? Yes, I think it would be the best, but few can and will do it. 

Recent studies confirm that fat is the primary fuel even in those consuming a high-carbohydrate diet. In resting muscle, glucose provides about 10-15% and fat about 85-90% of the energy used. During contraction, overall fat use increases because of the contribution of the muscle’s store of fat to energy production. Stored fat represents 70% of the total energy production.

In high-intensity weight training and other sorts of high-intensity activities, it has long been believed that glucose, and primarily muscle glycogen (stored glucose), are the primary sources of fuel. In a recent study, researchers cast doubt on this long-held belief. Stores of fat in the muscle provided close to 40% of the total energy used during a very strenuous weightlifting protocol.

It’s important, here, of course, to note that these athletes were carbohydrate-adapted, not fat-adapted; if they had been fat-adapted, their use of fat, not carbohydrates, would have been far higher. Weight training exercise is of such high intensity that it represents the type of exercise that physiologists have always argued cannot be fueled by fat.

On a personal note, I’ve put hundreds of strength and power athletes on a low-carbohydrate diet and after they adapt to it, they’re always stronger and have more endurance than they did when following a high-carbohydrate diet. Many lose weight because they lose body fat but, nonetheless, they still become stronger. This may not be the type of “scientific” proof required by scientists, but observation and experience are the basis of science. When the fat-loving belief system becomes the belief-of-choice, scientific studies proving my claims will appear and the world will know the truth as I already know the truth.

Weight maintenance requires that, in the long term, calorie intake must match calorie output. Apart from this balance in calories, there must be a match in the rate at which separate foodstuffs burn. As we’ve learned, the research of J. P. Flatt, suggests that protein and carbohydrate burning match their intake. Dr. Flatt argues that fat balance is poorly regulated and, as such, the consumption of too much fat will cause the body to become fatter because, in a sense, the body can’t “see” the fat that was consumed. In a recent study, researchers tested a low-carbohydrate diet (25% of energy as carbohydrate, the threshold of the low-carbohydrate response); predictably, after the first day’s abrupt switch in fuels, fat burning didn’t match fat intake. After seven days on the high-fat diet, however, predictably enough, fat burning matched fat intake, in conflict to Dr. Flatt’s theories.

The result of this study suggested that subjects were completely adapted to the high-fat diet within seven days. They weren’t. They couldn’t have been. They were “completely adapted” only in the sense that fat burning matched fat intake. Seven days is too short a time for a human to make a complete adaptation to a low-carbohydrate diet. For example, if the researchers had demanded heavy exercise of the subjects, fat burning couldn’t have met these heavy demands after only seven days of adaptation, although it could, of course, meet the demands imposed by the body at rest.

Rather than gain weight, as would be predicted by the Flatt model, the subjects in this trial actually tended to lose weight even though this wasn’t a weight loss trial. In conclusion, this study doesn’t support those studies that attack the high-fat diet as more fattening than the low-fat diet (Flatt and others). Further studies from the same laboratory indicate that obese subjects are capable of rapidly adjusting fat burning to fat intake, the process being accelerated if the body’s glycogen stores had been previously reduced by exercise.

The same study proves that lean subjects have the same response as the obese. Further, and importantly, fat burning is the highest when carbohydrate availability is the lowest. This demonstrates that the body burns what it is fed.

Eating a low-carbohydrate diet is far more effective than eating a low-fat diet in weight control, all of which is described in my Ultimate Diet Secrets and Ultimate Diet Secrets lite books.

I contend that we’re now ready for a scientific revolution in the diet of humans. We’re now ready to throw over the prevailing view that a diet consisting primarily of carbohydrates is the one best suited for us. I believe the scientific research of the last century has uncovered so many glitches in the current beliefs that it has to be replaced by a viable alternative. The existing scientific and medical communities aren’t up to this task; only new, young researchers, not committed to the existing beliefs, will be up to it. Unfortunately, the barriers to revolution, and even just orderly change, are many, and this is true because the health and profit of many powerful institutions depend upon a continuation of the status quo.

Intriguing is the fact that the laity, not medicine, is driving the movement toward the new belief system, one in which the linchpin is not glucose. This is a return to humankind’s early roots, before there was science: A time when true science — observation and experience — was the science we depended upon: a time before there were “experts,” “expert committees,” and “institutes of expertise.” Today, trust in one’s own observations and experience has been replaced by the worship of scientists and of science as the new religion.

Our observations conflict, and have long conflicted, with so-called science’s latest truisms about diet. In coming to our revelations, here, about low-carbohydrate eating, we’ve had to ignore what science and medicine have preached, and we’ve ignored them because our experience and senses have provided for us an irrefutable set of guidelines. Any person following a properly designed low-carbohydrate lifestyle KNOWS that he loses weight and fat, KNOWS that he feels better, KNOWS that he’s more alert, and KNOWS that he’s just so much better off than when consuming lots of carbohydrates.

The problem with science is that it’s not truly interested in new discoveries; it’s interested in probing ever-more deeply into what it already believes. It’s driven by its belief system rather than by a search for the truth. When glitches appear, they’re ignored — or “explained” away. Even when presented with information that disproves its beliefs, science “interprets” the contradictory facts with so-called scientific “rationality,” turning them around and upside down until they’ve “proved,” yet-again, the old (momentarily threatened) belief system. Business as usual.

This self-serving, self-preserving trait is, after all, just another very human, human-trait, one we all share, not just scientists. What’s striking about all this is the fact that this lamentable trait has incapacitated our scientists and medical elite more completely than it has the ever-more rebellious people. The people’s zeal in this regard has its origin in whole body knowing: they look better and feel better without carbs. This sort of subjectivity, however, will never be enough to convert the scientist rooted in the old belief system, stuck as he is in his “cutting-edge” technology. And, since the scientist has constructed a community that includes only his colleagues, he remains isolated from the laity, his work directed not to the needs of his fellow men, but to those of his closed community.

It’s science’s lack of vision that disturbs me. Unaware of the nature of science as I used to be, I came into it believing that it sought the truth. It doesn’t; it attempts, instead, to maintain the most “rational,” to it, defense possible of its belief system to which its community has committed itself.

In our story, here, the scientific community has become committed to the idea that carbohydrates are good and fats are bad. All of its “science” supports these claims. But, as we’ve learned, fat is “bad” only when we consume it with carbohydrates. When we reduce carbohydrate intake enough, fat then becomes “good.” (Trans-fatty acids or hydrogenated fats, margarine and solid vegetable oils, are bad, all the time.)

This truth, however, is beyond the current comprehension of all but a few, most of who are not in science per se. The laity now subverts so-called science and drives the scientific revolution to the fat-is-good belief system. The danger of all this, however, is profound, even fatal, because — “body knowing” aside — the people don’t understand what they’re doing, beholden as they are to the religion of science and its language, one foot in medicine and the other one out.

The journalists and the marketers have grabbed the language of science and ladle it out to the uncomprehending people. But this language isn’t used by layman journalists or marketers to clarify difficult ideas; it’s used to push group agendas or to make product sales.

This is exactly what we see in the Net Carb Scam, the sub-set to the Carb Scam. Each Net Carb box has an asterisk next to it that points the reader to a disclaimer which states that these carbohydrates, the so-called Net Carbs, are the ones that impact glucose and insulin: they are the “remaining carbs”: the ones that are left after the other carbs have been voided and declared not to exist, not to have a serious impact on glucose or insulin.

So what? What does it all mean? The consumer accepts this concept of Net Carbs as though it comes from science, as though it were published in some medical or scientific journal somewhere. He’s wholly unaware that it’s all made up and designed for only one purpose: to get the money out of his wallet.

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