Academic ResearchSpecial Reports

Academic studies questioning current dietary advice

For your convenience, here’s a list of peer reviewed studies and journal articles, challenging current dietary advice, since March 2013.

The papers are listed in reverse chronological order and I’ll try to keep this updated. Please post a comment with those I’ve missed and I’ll update.

July 2020. Diamond et al. “Dietary Recommendations for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: an Evidence-Free Zone.” BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. 2020.

December 2019: Heileson. “Dietary saturated fat and heart disease: a narrative review.” Nutrition Reviews. 2019.

September 2019: Mozaffarian. “Dairy Foods, Obesity, and Metabolic Health: The Role of the Food Matrix Compared with Single Nutrients.” Advances in Nutrition. 2019.

September 2018: Gershuni V.M. Saturated Fat: Part of a Healthy Diet. Current Nutrition Reports. 2018.

September 11th 2018: Mente et al. “Association of dairy intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 21 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study.” The Lancet. 2018.

August 14th 2018: Harcombe Z.  US dietary guidelines: is saturated fat a nutrient of concernBr. J. Sports Med. 2018.

March 26th 2018:  Grasgruber P et al.Global Correlates of Cardiovascular Risk: A Comparison of 158 Countries.” Nutrients. 2018.

January 2018: Zinn et al. “Assessing the nutrient intake of a low carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet: a
hypothetical case study design”. BMJ Open. 2018.

August 29th 2017: Dehghan et al. “Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study.” The Lancet. 2017.

August 24th 2017: Kelly et al. “Whole grain cereals for cardiovascular disease.” Cochrane Review. 2017.

May 19th 2017: Hamley, Steven. “The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” Nutrition Journal. 2017.

April 25th 2017: Malhotra, Redberg & Meier. “Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions.” Br. J. Sports Med. 2017.

January 1st 2017: Noakes & Windt. “Evidence that supports the prescription of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets: a narrative review.” Br. J. Sports Med. 2017.

October 18th 2016: Harcombe Z. “Dietary fat guidelines have no evidence base: where next for public health nutritional advice?” Br. J. Sports Med. 2016.

October 3rd 2016: Harcombe et al. Evidence from prospective cohort studies does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Br. J. Sports Med. 2016.

September 27th 2016: Pavel Grasgruber et al. “Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases: An epidemiological comparison of 42 European countries.” Food & Nutrition Research. 2016.

August 19th 2016: Unwin, Haslam & Livesey. “It is the glycaemic response to, not the carbohydrate content of food that matters in diabetes and obesity: The glycaemic index revisited.” Journal of Insulin Resistance. 2016.

August 8th 2016: Harcombe et al. Evidence from randomised controlled trials does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMJ Open Heart. 2015.

June 29th 2016: Harcombe et al: “Evidence from prospective cohort studies did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review.” Br. J. Sports Med. 2016.

June 13th 2016: Harcombe Z. “Designed by the food industry for wealth, not health: the ‘Eatwell Guide’.” Br. J. Sports Med. 2016.

March/April 2016: DiNicolantonio JJ, Harcombe Z, O’Keefe JH. “Problems with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: An Alternative.Mo. Med. 2016.

January 20th 2016: Jaike Praagman et al “The association between dietary saturated fatty acids and ischemic heart disease depends on the type and source of fatty acid in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands cohort.” AJCN. 2016.

October 20th 2015: Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, David Kanter & Sanjay Kaul. “Dietary Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adults: Comparison of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. A Meta-Analysis.” PLoS One 2015.

September 23rd 2015: Nina Teicholz. “The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific?” The BMJ. 2015

September 2015: Credit Suisse Research Institute. “Fat: The new health paradigm“. (Not peer reviewed).

August 26th 2015: Malhotra et al. “It is time to stop counting calories, and time instead to promote dietary changes that substantially and rapidly reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.” BMJ Open Heart. 2015.

August 12th 2015: de Souza, R. J., et al. “Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.” BMJ. 2015.

July 15th 2015: Tanja K Thorning et al. “Diets with high-fat cheese, high-fat meat, or carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk markers in overweight postmenopausal women: a randomized crossover trial.” AJCN. 2015.

June 9th 2015:  Edward Archer, Gregory Pavela, Carl J. Lavie. “The Inadmissibility of What We Eat in America and NHANES Dietary Data in Nutrition and Obesity Research and the Scientific Formulation of National Dietary Guidelines.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2015. Video interview here.

May 7th 2015: Malhotra, Noakes & Phinney. “It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity: you cannot outrun a bad diet.” British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015.

February 9th 2015: Harcombe et al. “Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMJ Open Heart. 2015.

February 1st 2015: Nathalie Genevieve Puaschitz et al. “Dietary Intake of Saturated Fat Is Not Associated with Risk of Coronary Events or Mortality in Patients with Established Coronary Artery Disease.” The Journal of Nutrition. (Many thanks to Ted Hutchinson for this one).

January 26th 2015: Zoë Harcombe. What caused the obesity epidemicTrends in Urology & Men’s Health. (2015).

November 24th 2014: Sean C Lucan and James J DiNicolantonio: “How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. An alternative.” Public Health Nutrition. 2014.

November 21st 2014: Brittanie M. Volk, Laura J. Kunces, Daniel J. Freidenreich, et al. “Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome”. PLoS One 2014.

November 17th 2014: Malhotra A, Maruthappu M, Stephenson T. “Healthy eating: an NHS priority A sure way to improve health outcomes for NHS staff and the public.” Postgrad Med J 2014.

October 19th 2014: Jennifer Elliott. “Flaws, Fallacies and Facts: Reviewing the Early History of the Lipid and Diet/Heart Hypotheses“. Food and Nutrition Sciences 2014; PP. 1886-1903.

October 8th 2014: Lamarche, B., and Couture, P. “It is time to revisit current dietary recommendations for saturated fat.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. pp.1-3. 2014 (Many thanks to Gaby in comments for this one).

September 2014: Bazzano LA, Hu T, Reynolds K, et al. “Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets A Randomized Trial”. Ann Intern Med 2014; 161(5): 309-18.2

August 2014: Harcombe Z, Baker J. “Plant Sterols lower cholesterol, but increase risk for Coronary Heart Disease.” Online J Biol Sci 2014; 14(3): 167-9.

July 2014: Schwab et al. “Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on cardiometabolic risk factors and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer: a systematic review.” Food and Nutrition Research; 2014.

June 2014: Feinman RD, Pogozelski WK, Astrup A, et al. “Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base.” Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif) 2014.

April 2014: Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. “Dietary fatty acids in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression“. BMJ Open 2014; 4(4).

April 2014: Hansen A. “Swedish health advisory body says too much carbohydrate, not fat, leads to obesity“. BMJ 2013; 347.

March 2014: Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. “Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis“. Ann Intern Med 2014; 160(6): 398-406.

March 2014: Georgina E. Crichton and Ala’a Alkerwi. “Whole-fat dairy food intake is inversely associated with obesity prevalence: findings from the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study.” Nutrition Research. (Many thanks to Evonne in comments for this one).

February 2014: Ravnskov U, DiNicolantonio JJ, Harcombe Z, Kummerow FA, Okuyama H, Worm N. “The Questionable Benefits of Exchanging Saturated Fat With Polyunsaturated Fat.Mayo Clinic proceedings Mayo Clinic 2014. (Viewable here thanks to Dr Michael Eades)

January 2014: DiNicolantonio JJ. “The cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates or Ω-6 polyunsaturated fats: Do the dietary guidelines have it wrong?” Open Heart 2014; 1(1).

December 2013: Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G. “Comparison of effects of long-term low-fat vs high-fat diets on blood lipid levels in overweight or obese patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013; 113(12): 1640-61.

October 2013: Malhotra A. “Saturated fat is not the major issue”. BMJ 2013; 347.

May 2013: Malhotra A. “The dietary advice on added sugar needs emergency surgery“. BMJ 2013; 346.

May 2013: Glen D.Lawrence: “Dietary Fats and Health: Dietary Recommendations in the Context of Scientific Evidence.” Advances in Nutrition. 2013.

March 2013: Z. Harcombe, J. Baker, B. Davies. “Food for Thought: Have We Been Giving the Wrong Dietary Advice?” Food and Nutrition Sciences 2013; 4(3): 240-4. (This is the second most popular paper for the journal Food & Nutrition Sciences, confirming the interest in progressive, rather than conventional, thinking.)

And, of course, none of these should have been necessary as Uffe Ravnskov ended the debate in May 2010 in this book viewable here.




62 thoughts on “Academic studies questioning current dietary advice

  • Hi Zoe, have you looked at the current Nutrition for Health course curriculum at UK university institutions? Everything is Eatwell Guide, carb and fibre based, low protein, no red meat, saturated fat causes everything, LDL is bad and will clog your arteries and cause stroke if hypertension and salt doesnt get you first, and you cannot question ANYTHING. Any assignment or test HAS to comply to the PowerPoint slides prescribed every week, and it is so frustrating.I am not your usual student, i am 61 studying Sport and Exercise Science – i dont have to be there – i want to be there to continue my learning. Honestly its been the best thing i have ever done , except for this topic. Sorry for the rant, keep up the excellent work.

    • Many thanks for this Matthew – I hadn’t seen this one. I’m not sure it’s a challenge to current guidelines however: “These findings do not support a need for major emphasis in dietary guidelines on either increasing or decreasing butter consumption, in comparison to other better established dietary priorities…”
      Best wishes – Zoe

  • Hi Zoe,
    Did you address somewhere Susanne Holts paper Am J Clin Nutr 1997? As a LDL-R negative FH (C146X exon 4 mutation), I am interested in your opinion on the discrepancies between glycaemic- and insuline-responses. From inflammatory burden perspective this might be relevant, as we want to prevent relatively high insulin levels. My ancestors did not have vascular disease, lived longer than historic controls, members of the Sijbrands BMJ cohort. I am the only one with DM and the only one with a history of 40 years of statin use (not counting).
    Best regards

    • Hi Arthur
      Funnily enough – that paper came up in an email forum today. I’ve not reviewed it. The only surprising thing (probably) would have been the insulin and to a lesser extent glycaemic response to protein.

      Two of the comments that were made in the chat were:

      1) “An explanation for the glycemic response to protein in some people is that amino acids also elicit a strong glucagon response. That’s nature’s way of preventing hypoglycemia on a low carbohydrate diet (counterbalancing the insulinotropic effects of amino acids).

      The insulinemic index doesn’t take into account the important biological differences between high insulin/suppressed glucagon (after high glycemic index carbohydrate) vs high insulin/high glucagon (after some animal products). The former is highly anabolic to adipose tissue; the latter isn’t.”
      2) “Glucogenic amino acids from the protein are then converted to glucose via transamination/deamination ultimately to pyruvate and then back towards glucose via gluconeogenesis. All mediated under glucagon’s phosphorylation inhibiting glycolytic and activating gluconeogenic enzymes in liver.

      However, I’ve never read previously that this would elicit an insulin response comparable to sugar intake. It is true that extra protein carbons end up as fat. But as soon as glucose goes up, the glucagon decreases and the insulin elevates slightly to return to normal levels.”

      Not sure if they’re of interest?

      This post may be of interest too:

      Best wishes – Zoe

      • Thanks Zoe,
        very interesting; ad 1: glucagon falls rapidly, which may add to the lesser postprandrial glycemic effect.
        About your FH-post: indeed, nowhere did I find ARR / NNTs or convincing natural risks for FH with / without treatment. If equal lipid levels in FH vs non-FH are associated with different risks, you want to know why, and you certainly do not feel reassured with a therapy that raises HOMA-IR 30% even without overt DM. Clearly defining uncertainties in papers is a matter of public health.

        best regards

  • Hi Zoe! Where can I find the “checklist” you mentioned regarding establishing likelihood of causality vs. association. It is such a good list and I’ve not been able to find it. Items like plausible mechanism and minimum of 3X (or 10X?) association. Perhaps that would be a good reference in your website “research” header.


  • Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for pointing out all the facts that do indeed show a pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories. Whether it is precisely 2,843 or 3,555 calories per pound of fat is another matter, but it would be around 3000 to 3500. Showing why it hard to lose weight with diet alone, and that exercise or burning more calories is a must.

    Not sure why you are calculating someone taking in an extra 657 calories a day (or roughly 13 of those 50 calorie biscuits, for an extra 4,745 biscuits during the year) each an every day for 365 days. (The difference between 3500 and 2843 as you are using it here has as much to do with the weight a person might gain or lose as the price of tea in China does.) But yes, if someone ate an extra 13 biscuits each and every day for a year on top of their regular diet, one could see them gaining an extra 84 pounds in a year. Of course as they started gaining the extra eight they would burn more calories each day, but they would still be looking at a big weight gain.

    Now if they only have one extra or one less biscuit per day, then they would take in an extra 18,250 calories or less 18,250 calories over the year (365 x 50 = 18,250), which if 3,500 calories per pound is used would amount to a gain or loss of 5.2 pounds. If it is 2,843 per pound it would be a little more (6.4 lb), but 3,500 calories per pound appears to be a good approximation.

    Think you need to look at the equations for calories burned, be it at rest or if moving. If typical calories used each day for woman are 2,000 and men are 2,600, that would end up largely reflecting their difference in weights. A man weighs substantially more, and would burn more calories at rest or when active and moving around. As would any person consuming an extra 657 calories per day, they will end up weighing substantially more, and then end burning more calories at rest or when active each day.

  • Hello Zoe, I have just watched your youtube lecture at the Cardiff University. I am an Osteopath specialising in paediatric care. I see lots of conflicting advice about low carb high fat diets for breastfeeding mothers (the general consensus being that they need carbs for the energy) this doesn’t fit with your stated fact that we don’t need carbohydrates to survive. I want to give my patients sound, practical advice and would like to know if you have come across any research related to saturated fat intake and breastfeeding, the few that I have seen are not favourable.

    Many thanks

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  • Two years ago I discovered your books, they helped me lose weight when I had a knee replacement. I am now 80 and have slipped with the diet.
    Now they tell me I have glucose in my blood and I yesterday saw a dietician. She has given me a booklet dated Aug 2010, reviewed Aug 2013! Which advocates 3 meals daily based on starchy foods!
    I eat Gluten free bread etc, a personal choice, ( I wasn’t asked why) I have limited it to two slices a day.
    I eat a lot of eggs and was told to only have 4 a week ( I put three in an omelette!) as they are high is cholesterol. When I queried this, my question was ignored and the speil was continued without pause.
    I was not invited to offer reasons for my choice of diet, it was more of a dictat than a consultation, and I felt very frustrated. The out come of the ‘interview’ was an injunction to return in 3 months to be weighed ‘again’, I wasn’t weighed at this point!!
    Money for old rope I decided – I could have taken the consultation myself, and filled in the noted cards.
    I am left in more confusion and will continue with your dietary suggestions, that worked for me before and ‘yah sucks boo!’ to any dieticians who are just there for the money and not for the patient’s welfare.
    Thankyou Zoe for being our watchdog.

    • Hi Frances
      I wish people would start suing the people who issue such advice – healthy will be harmed sufficiently to interest no win no fee lawyers!
      This is quite dreadful
      Keep reading/watching intelligent stuff – you may like this genius (and I don’t use that word often)

      Best wishes – Zoe

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  • Hi Zoe, I have really enjoyed reading more about you after first discovering you on Dr Mercola. So much of what you are teaching makes perfect sense.
    I am a recent convert to eating more saturated fats having discovered the works of Dave Asprey – he of Bulletproof Coffee fame. I have actually signed up for his new coaching qualification and am looking forward to helping others. I’m also a complete convert to intermittent fasting and have found four of my six pack in the last few weeks, after many years of them being neatly concealed!

    I don’t think you’ve appeared on Bulletproof radio yet, Dave’s podcast, but you’d be excellent and you are both definitely on the same page when it comes to dietary advice. He also runs a conference in LA which I am attending later this month.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed listening to your talk and to wish you every success with your continued education of a misled population.

    Best wishes, Mark

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  • re: A calorie is not a calorie. And here’s the reason why

    Zoe, In your video, you say that the body will not use any Carbs for the kcal needed for the energy required for its BMR; they will only come from protein and fat. Can you point me at some links to allow me to do some background reading on this pls.
    Thanks, Andy.

    • Hi Andy

      This is original work that I’ve done, piecing together what I’ve learned about nutrition (as opposed to what you get taught) and applying some logic…

      The Wardlaw/Smith “Contemporary Nutrition” ( is highly regarded as the bible in nutrition. Here is a table from my copy (7th edition) p9. Wardlaw Table

      This shows that any macro nutrient can provide energy (protein will be the body’s last choice), but only fats/protein/vits and minerals do ‘the body work’.

      Strictly speaking I should have made up a term called “Body Maintenance Only”, not Basal Metabolic Needs, as some energy is still needed if we’re lying ill in bed all day. Think of calorie requirement in two parts – that needed for body work and that needed for energy – and call the two parts whatever works for you. Wiki is as good as anywhere for the Harris Benedict equations ( to define BMR and then stuff needed over and above.

      I’m open to being wrong – it would require evidence that carbs do the body work – not just provide energy. Carbs do provide vits and minerals – and these are vital for body work – but the carb itself is useless.
      Hope this helps
      Best wishes – Zoe

      • Hi Zoe, Thanks for taking the time to reply it is much appreciated; thanks also for the penny drop moment, I’m going to apply it to myself and see how my stats react.

        Can I ask for your advice on what percentage of Carb/protein/fat we should have in our diet for the following 2 scenarios:
        – Healthy weight loss.
        – Healthy weight maintenance.

        Thanks again for sharing your time today and indeed for the original video.
        Lots of food for thought :)

        • Hi Andy
          I don’t advise macro nutrient targets. I just advise people to eat real food and choose the food for the nutrients it provides ( and meat/fish/eggs/veg will naturally be chosen instead of whole grains/fruit etc. This will tend someone to higher fat/protein intakes and lower carb but I don’t set targets for any of these. I want to liberate people from counting if at all possible and I don’t know that there is a perfect macro nutrient mix – we’re all different and differently active/carb sensitive etc.

          The LCHF recommendations can be worked out with this site
          A very well informed LCHF devotee in Norway shared that one with me!
          Hope it helps
          Best wishes – Zoe

          • Hi Zoe,

            Would it be to simplistic for me to assume the kcal from carbs I need daily are = Y+Z, given below?
            BMR = X kcal
            + Y kcal (eg. energy for sedentary desk job lifestyle)
            + Z kcal (any energy used via exercise)

            If my preferred way of managing my weight was to track/log what I eat/exercise and I could closely approx. my kcal from carb consumption/energy expended on exercise and therefore could keep a tally of the amount of kcal from carbs I need and thus eat, would that be an unhealthy thing from both a weigh loss and/or weight maintenance point of view?

            Thanks again, very much appreciated

          • Hi Andy
            A few thoughts:
            1) The Harris Benedict equations are still as good as anything (despite being almost 100 years old!) And wiki is as good as anywhere for covering them.
            They can be used for what you’re trying to do.

            2) Don’t forget what you would have been doing anyway (sedentary desk job) – activity is the difference between what you do and what you would have been doing anyway. Almost everyone forgets this – it didn’t dawn on me until a few years ago

            3) It’s still not about calories! Read my obesity book if you think it is or Gary Taubes Good calories Bad calories or the many other books/web sites out there that don’t buy the calorie theory. All (1) and (2) tell you is your fuel requirement in the currency that we measure fuel for the body, which is calories. The huge mistake we made is that made up conversion between weight and calories (the 3,500 nonsense). Energy is energy, weight is weight – they are so very different!

            4) You can track all of this, but, given (3) why would you want to and why would you want to anyway? Life is too short! Just eat real food, max 3 times a day and manage carb intake if you need to lose weight. If I had to think of 10,000 fun things to do, counting calories wouldn’t be on the list! 100,000!

            Best wishes – Zoe

  • Hi Zoe, Just reading your web page with interest. I have FH alongwith my mother age 60 and two children. My latest cholesterol level just came back at total 9.6, and have been prescribed a statin. Interested on your views for treatment on FH… Thank you

  • Hi Zoe,my name is Jeraldine Curran I have a BSc Nutritional therapy and currently studying for an MSc Nutritional Medicine at Surrey.
    Would really love to talk to you regarding the information that we are being taught. It is focused around the eatwell plate, need I say more, currently in talks with the professor that put the eatwell plate together who still lectures on the course. really pleased with your research. Please email if you are willing to discuss this further. We really need dietary advice to change.

  • I meant to add these also:
    It is time to revisit current dietary recommendations for saturated fat
    Doubling saturated fat in diet does not increase saturated fat in blood
    I also like this one:
    Energy balance measurement: when something is not better than nothing
    Energy intake (EI) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) are key modifiable determinants of energy balance, traditionally assessed by self-report despite its repeated demonstration of considerable inaccuracies. We argue here that it is time to move from the common view that self-reports of EI and PAEE are imperfect, but nevertheless deserving of use, to a view commensurate with the evidence that self-reports of EI and PAEE are so poor that they are wholly unacceptable for scientific research on EI and PAEE. While new strategies for objectively determining energy balance are in their infancy, it is unacceptable to use decidedly inaccurate instruments, which may misguide health care policies, future research, and clinical judgment. The scientific and medical communities should discontinue reliance on self-reported EI and PAEE. Researchers and sponsors should develop objective measures of energy balance.

    • Hi Gaby – thanks so much for these. The doubling sat fat one is in there already – the 21st Nov 2014 PLOSOne Volk et al. I’ve added in the Lamarche one – I had it in my EndNotes, so I should have spotted that – nice one! I’ve credited you :-)
      Well done with your own health progress – may it long continue
      Best wishes – Zoe

  • Hi Zoe, I have been following your blog for years and learned so much. Although I am still dealing with some of the chronic health issues I’ve had (for over 50 years), my overall health is so much better since I started eating a grain-free low-carb diet that it borders on the miraculous. Thank you for all your work and all your efforts.
    because of all the naysayers, I also try to save studies as I come across them. Here are a few that you might be interested in.
    Accelerated intestinal glucose absorption in morbidly obese humans – relationship to glucose transporters, incretin hormones and glycaemia.
    Higher Dietary Choline Intake Is Associated with Lower Risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver in Normal-Weight Chinese Women
    Several sources here:
    Important: Carb-Driven sdLDL – Now LOWER LDL Denotes HIGHER Risk – Excellent Papers

  • Thanks very much for this list. I did notice, however, that the first and latest paper on your list, “How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. An alternative.” is a little troubling in that it promotes animal products, added oils and fats. They only focus on the hunger cycle and its impact on obesity with little regard for CHD, Cancer, dementia etc associated with animal protein and added fat.

    • Those conditions you name, as far as the last 5 years of reading medical articles and opinion is concerned, are results of excess carbohydrate consumption.

      The last 50 years advice of eating 60% grains has been the disaster. Search for the hyperlipid blog for numerous articles from a heavy sat fat & low carb eater- based on evidence.

      Personally, as a result of high fat/ low carb, my serum triglyceride level has plummeted and HDL has significantly increased. Doctor congratulated me for eating ‘plenty of grains and fruit and veg’ to get these numbers. Didn’t argue, as it would not compute with her.

  • I came upon your ‘diet’ whilst looking up calorie counting, downloaded your book and now two weeks later and seven pounds lighter! I hesitate to call it a diet because I have not been hungry once. No more trying and failing to work out calories. No more food diaries. No more borrowing calories from the next day and then not managing to eat less.I just follow the rules-don’t mix carbs with fats and don’t eat processed food. I also walk or swim for half an hour each day. Food tastes so good and it is not more expensive to eat this way. I sat down tonight to baked salmon with lemon juice, fresh green beans and sprouts, stewed berries and apples and full fat plain yoghourt. Oh, and one small glass of chilled white wine. I was just naturally hungry and ready to eat and it tasted so good. The natural sweetness of the fruit was lovely. I still find eating full fat a bit scary but you find you don’t need so much and it fills you up. Bags of energy and skin nice. Only got half a stone to go and will carry on as I am as I want this weight off. However this is a way of eating that makes a bigger weight loss over a longer period much easier. My diet before was good but the weight loss has come from cutting my carbs right back, eating unprocessed carbs and giving up low calorie stuff because that too has too much sugar. The food industry has a lot to answer for. Processed food makes you fat. Snacking between meals makes dieting slower and harder.Thank you. Best book I ever bought.

    • Hi Nicola – thank you so much for your lovely post – made my day :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

  • Bill- yes, thanks, I have read much on the subject- (it’s very interesting!) I hadn’t included a link before because I couldn’t find an actual scientific study where current dietary advice was questioned by the researches; (for instance, although Dr. Seyfried recommends a ketogenic diet for treating cancer, he doesn’t seem to believe that our modern diet causes it in the first place). But, just for kicks, I’ll post this link (just one of very many articles about the ketogenic diet for cancer treatment):

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  • Crichton G, Alkerwi A (2014) Whole-fat dairy food intake is inversely associated with obesity prevalence: findings from the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. Nutrition Research 34:11 pp936-943

    Excerpt from Abstract:
    Higher intakes of whole fat milk, yogurt, and cheese were associated with better cardiovascular health. Even when controlling for demographic and dietary variables, those who consumed at least 5 servings per week of these dairy products had a significantly higher CHS than those who consumed these products less frequently. Higher total whole fat dairy food intake was also associated with other positive health behaviors, including being a nonsmoker, consuming the suggested dietary intakes of recommended foods, and having a normal body mass index. Increased dairy food consumption was associated with better cardiovascular health.

    • Many thanks Evonne – it’s been included and credited :-)

      • Please provide your nutrition credentials so I can assess the validity of your claims.


        • If you can’t critically evaluate on your own, you’re on the wrong site.

    • One has to be very very careful with nutritional studies. I’d like to see the whole article. What may be left out is what the low-dairy group may be eating instead. Are they replacing milk-fat with junk food or animal fat? I wouldn’t be surprised if this is not controlled for in the study. Of course I don’t see any mention of CVD, cancer, diabetes, dementia impacts in the abstract.

  • I love your site Zoe and the various paths it takes me. However you asked for more papers etc.
    You probably know these guys Zoe, Peter Attia certainly knows about you because I saw he referenced you in one of his blogs. However, I got to him via his TED talk below. He is a surgeon and has a blog site “The Eating Academy”

    That led to me to Chris Masterjohn and his paper “Does dietary choline contribute to heart disease” This is an article (10th April 2013) on the “The Western A Price foundation” (no adverts). I notice that he acknowledges other people I recognise such as Steven Guyanet.

    • Hi Angela – many thanks for your kind words. I know these people well. We’re in the right gang eh!?
      Best wishes – Zoe

    • These is indeed a “gang” of deniers that are so far off the mark. I would suggest that anyone seriously interested in some solid and well-presented material see:


      Make up your own mind – don’t rely on folks only interested in selling their books and being funded by the food industry.

  • Hi Zoe

    Thanks for these links, they’re a great resource. I have dramatically changed the way I work with clients partly down to your blog and discovering just how much healthier low carb is. It’s all about the real food and the links above are great for people who aren’t convinced so thankyou very much!

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  • Hi Zoe- I’m interested in cancer research, and there have also been studies recently showing a possible correlation between high carbohydrate diets and various forms of cancer. There was one study about breast cancer survivors- (I’m sorry, I don’t remember the year)- where the result was that women who ate a lower carbohydrate diet had less recurrence and death than those on a high carbohydrate diet. The authors of the study questioned the dietary advice given to women with breast cancer- (which is the usual “eat lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, limit meat and saturated fat” nonsense). And just recently, there was a study done at Toronto University (I believe), where mice fed a high carbohydrate diet had more colon cancer than mice eating a low carbohydrate diet. OK, so that was just mice, but there is an earlier human study (20012 I believe) finding again, that colon cancer survivors eating a low carbohydrate diet had better survival and less relapse than those on a high carbohydrate diet. (Sorry for not posting the links: I can’t seem to be able to post links on your website). Anyway, I thought these studies were particularly interesting because for years we’ve been told that colon cancer is caused by eating red meat and too little fiber.

    • Hi Lisa – there isn’t an ‘insert link’ function, but you can just put complete URLs in – as Ash did. If there are more than a couple it may end up in spam so you could post 2 comments – one asking me to check spam for the other!

      Please do try if you have the links – others will appreciate them.
      Many thanks
      Best wishes – Zoe

    • There are entire books devoted to cancer vs glucose and diet stuff.

      And not to spam Zoe’s site but I devoted a chapter of my keto science book to cancer research specifically. You can view the cited studies here:


      Each of those studies have gazillions of further citations as far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

      TL;DR – Warburg.

      • Hi Ash – Hopefully you’ll always make it through the spam filter! A trusted contributor :-)

      • Wow, Ash, what a wealth of information! That’s great.

        I find it interesting that Dr. Warburg’s theory was “debunked” awhile back, but now it’s making a (much needed) comeback. A lot of this nutritional information has actually been known about for quite awhile; we just unfortunately went down the wrong path, partly due to the flawed diet-heart-hypothesis (among other reasons).

    • These conclusions are so counter to what research is showing – why bother to look up some elusive study when there are dozens showing the direct correlation between high fiber, vegetables, high unrefined carbs to low breast cancer rates and increased survival?

      See nutritionfacts. org

      • Because those are correlations and don’t prove causation? Look up the Women’s Health Initiative trial, an actual randomized, controlled trial, which unlike epidemiological studies can actually prove causation. This was a massive trial that split women into two groups, one of which was actively counseled to decrease fat and saturated fat and to increase fruits and vegetable. It cost upwards of 420 MILLION US dollars. It was THE study to end all studies and prove that a low fat and increased vegetable diet was better than a “normal” diet. The results? A failure.


        Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in postmenopausal women and achieved only modest effects on CVD risk factors, suggesting that more focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce CVD risk.”

        This is the best they could possibly do, and it was a failure. It’s unclear why we continue to avoid saturated fats and believe that vegetables are somehow miraculous.

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