Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Big Fat Diet

No, this isn't a new diet craze hitting the shelves, but rather, My Big Fat Diet is a documentary demonstrating the use and safety of a low carb diet within an entire Canadian Native community. I encourage you to click on the link and see just how effective a low carb diet can be, especially when it's applied to a population who traditionally existed on high fat, moderate protein, very low carb dietary intakes. (more below).

This weekend I've been Phoenix Arizona for the Nutrition and Metabolism Society's second annual conference. It was held in conjunction with the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (those who treat obesity and it's associated disorders).

The NMS was started in 2004 by some of the best low-carb thinkers in the world (my supervisor, Jeff Volek, being one of them) and today has grown to an excellent organization who helps disseminate credible nutrition information. Here's some information from their website:

The Metabolism Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit health organization providing research, information and education in the application of fundamental science to nutrition. The Society is particularly dedicated to the incorporation of biochemical metabolism to problems of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

During the conference this weekend, some excellent information was shared to these Bariatric Physicians, such as the application of low carb diets for successful treatment of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. I was somewhat suprised that some of the physicians had no idea this data existed, but saw that they were happy to see it as they had so many struggles in their current practice with these types of cases.

My mentor Jeff Volek presented some of the data from our research lab (research that I had a big part in and have co-authored a paper on), and my PhD advisor Dr Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, presented even more of our data combined with some of his own. The overall message from these talks were that a LC diet is a excellent treatment for all the conditions associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Bruce German had an excellent talk on the usefullness of saturated fats in our diet. He basically showed us that saturated fats are NOT evil and they are actually a very important fuel source. If nature deamed them to be toxic, they would have been eliminated from our diets many, many years ago. But they are not, so they still exist and should not be feared.

Dr Jay Wortman from the University of British Columbia, Canada (my home province) had an excellent documentary to share with everyone. The documentary showed how he encouraged a Native community off the coast of Vancouver Island in BC Canada to give up the refined carbohydrates that have caused them diabetes and obesity and return to their traditional ancestrial diet of good fats, local proteins and vegetable carbohydrates. Overall he recruited 100 people from a small village and had them follow the diet for a year. The average weight loss over this time was a whopping 22 lbs with many of them regaining their health and their confidence - things that had been destroyed by modern man's potato chips, refined cereals, and soda pop. These people to this day have now converted the grocery supply in their entire village to focus on good fats, local proteins and non-starchy veggies (cauliflower was a favorite), and almost eliminated the sales of chips and candy.

If it wasn't for Dr W stepping in and showing them that their ancestors had it right, these people would still be dying from avoidable problems.

To learn more about this amazing study, please visit

You can also purchase a copy of the documentary from the company who made the film - just send them an email and you will gain a valuable addition to your video library.

Love the Low Carb!

Now, this all made me want to get my butt back to CT to finish studying the results of my low carb project, but first, I've got to get a little more Vitamin D in my body! Sunshine here I come.


Roland said...


In the media, it seems like "low carb" is pretty much dead. While hopefully, that means that the "low carb" treat market is done, I hope it doesn't mean that fewer and fewer people are considering a lower carb lifestyle?

Is anyone tracking this at all?

Thanks for your work.


Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks for the great info and update from sunny AZ!
Rock on
Mike N

Jimmy Moore said...

It was GREAT seeing you again, Cass! Too bad we only get to meet together once a year or so. Then when we do, there's very little time for anything besides the conference.

Here's my blog post about the sessions:

Cassandra Forsythe said...

Hey Roland,

It is being tracked by the low-carbers forum, an online group of all people following low carb.

It definitely isn't dead and a lot of people are really benefiting.

The media sucks basically... they're driven by people from Manhattan that think low carb is not "cool" enough for them. Whatever.

Roxanne said...

Nice post. I can see that everyone is getting in to it.