An Interesting Look at the Lipid Hypothesis

Get your TV warmed up…

An interesting watch for anyone who thinks the info from yesterday’s post is complete nonsense, I would suggest you watch a film called “Fat Head”. This was a documentary film released in 2009 that “seeks to refute both the documentary “Super Size Me” and the lipid hypothesis, a theory of nutrition started in the early 1950s in the United States by Ancel Keys and promoted in much of the Western world.”


You may remember the film “Super Size Me”, where Morgan Spurlock dedicated himself to adopting a diet where he ate at McDonald’s for every meal of the day for a 30-day period. His goal was to show the negative effects that eating fast food would have on his body. The film was full of scenes of Spurlock forcing himself to overeat to the point of making himself ill, in order to prove his point. He also made the rule that he would super-size his meal whenever asked by the server. Before this month, Spurlock was a vegan who exercised regularly. But for this month, Spurlock stopped his exercise in order to be more like the average american, stuffing himself like a goose earmarked for foie gras.

By the end of the month, Spurlock had gained 24 lbs, lost his sex-drive, and had his doctor telling him that his blood results led him to believe that he was quickly eating his way toward an early grave. Spurlock went running back to his previous way of eating and exercising, taking 14 months to return to his previous weight and concluded that nobody can be healthy while eating fast food.


In “Fat Head”, Tom Naughton decided that Spurlock’s approach to his film was both irresponsible and preposterous. Naughton would undertake a similar challenge. He would eat nothing but fast food for a month, but with a very different approach. He would order his food with “a functioning brain”. This meant he would not order sugary sodas or treats with his meals and would not super-size anything. He would also engage in moderate exercise throughout the month and increase his nightly walks from 3 nights a week to 6.

Like Spurlock, Naughton also visited doctors and dietitians throughout the month who all argued that this experiment was going to be detrimental to his health. So what happened to Naughton by the end of his experiment? Naughton actually lost 12 pounds and had a reduction in total cholesterol. His HDL level dropped, which was not ideal so he decided to extend his experiment with some changes.

For the next month he adopted a diet that was much the same as the previous month except he would exclude most sugars and starches. This meant no buns with burgers and no fries. He would also make meals at home like eggs and bacon fried in butter, steaks, Polish sausage, fruit in heavy cream, and green vegetables in butter. He experienced no negative effects on his energy levels, despite working many nights until 2 AM. At the end of the month, his overall cholesterol had dropped from 222 to 209, with his LDL having dropped from 156 to 130 and his HDL having increased from 49 to 64. All of this with a diet where fat made up as much as 50% of his daily caloric intake.


The bottom line? For Tom Naughton, it appears as though reducing carbohydrates and increasing fat intake results in an overall improvement in blood-cholesterol levels, weight loss and no reduction in energy levels. While it’s possible that Naughton may be an anomaly, it’s more likely that fat is not the deadly substance that we’ve been led to believe for decades. Instead, sugar is proving to be more detrimental than fat was ever presented to be.

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