01 March 2009

Swedes are demanding a healthier diet

Just a short piece of news I thought you might like to know about.

A Swedish friend of mine tells me that the local diary in Dalecarlia, Sweden, is complaining that they are having difficulties delivering enough butter and heavy cream. This is because consumption of these is going up due to the fact people are demanding natural fats instead of margarines.

I wonder what the UK's Food Standards Agency would say about that?


Anonymous said...

Good for them!

By the way, how do you make your cocoa with cream? Do you use all double cream or a mix of cream & milk? Also do you drink it without sugar? I won't touch artificial sweeteners so is it just a matter of getting used to the taste without?

Many thanks


Anonymous said...

I came across the Swedish low carb explosion on Jimmy Moore's Livinlavidalowcarb blog. He is delighted, as are all those who support low carb. It seems Annika Dalqvist has been vindicated after all despite her 'peers' trying to get her struck off for advocating low carb.

After Sweden proves that this way of eating works and they become the healthiest nation in Europe, can we hope that the 'experts' in the UK will admit that they are wrong and adopt low carb, or do you think their arrogance will out and they will still spout the same old dogma and say that Sweden is a fluke?

I for one will be keeping an eye on Sweden's progress and the UK's reaction.


Barry Groves said...

Hi Tanya

I make cocoa with a heaped teaspoon of 100% cocoa powder (Waitrose's own brand). Then add boiling water while stirring, rather as you would make instant coffee, then I add about 3/16 inch (4 mm) of double (heavy) cream.

I don't sweeten cocoa. It is bitter without sweetener, but very refreshing and satisfying.

Hi Ellen
I am constantly surprised (and disappointed) by the 'health professionals' who seem unable to see the huge amount of evidence that indicts them as the cause of so much disease.

I suspect it will take a successful court case to dislodge them. And even then, I'll bet they will insist that they have been saying what I and others have been saying all along - and that we have misunderstood it!

If you think about it, it's already happening. We were told for many years to 'base meals on starchy foods'; then it changed to 'low-GI foods', although some of the low-GI foods that the BDA recommend are actually not low-GI.


Anonymous said...

As more people realize the benefits of eating this way, we will start seeing more natural foods in the grocery store. I hope so, anyway. It would be a pretty sad sight to walk in and only see tofu, skinless chicken breasts and canola oil.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Anon

I hope so as well. But with the present credit crunch and the crass nonsense coming out of quangos on the supposed 'unhealthiness' of saturated fats, it could take a long time.


Anonymous said...


That reminds me, there is a lot of talk in the U.S. about heavily taxing meat "to stop climate change", and because it is viewed as wasteful during this economic collapse. There is a growing sentiment among certain groups of people (mainly socialists and vegan/animal rights groups) that eating meat, particularly red meat, is a grave sin and must be stopped for the good of society. This is just a part of a massive barrage of propaganda I've seen lately in the States, saying that "greenhouse gases" are destroying the planet and we must tax and control all carbon emissions. Seeing as how our entire industrial infrastructure is based on carbon, and given that we are carbon-based life forms, I do not like at all where this is heading.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Anon

This is another con. It's an unproven hypothesis that methane from cattle belches and farts are contributing to greenhouse gases. But there have been several studies (real science ones) recently that have looked at methane as a source of climate change, and found none.

You may have noticed that I have added a 'Man-made Global Warming Scam' section to Second-Opinions. I'll try to get a page about this on in the next couple of days.

Jay said...

Tanya and chocolate lovers

If you find unsweetened cocoa too bitter or want the benefit of the cocoa butter you might be interested in 'Hotel Chocolat' products. They grow the Nacional Arriba less bitter variety of cocoa beans and make 100% cocoa mass products intended to be consumed unsweetened. Their 'Liquid Chocolat Macho 100%' is drinking chocolate (about 75p per mug) and for extra low lactose and carbohydrate make it with water and use Rachel's creme fraiche (0.1% carbohydrate, £1.15/200g) put a good dollop in the mug first and then stir it for a few seconds and slowly stir in the drinking chocolate.

Barry Groves said...

No thank you, Jay

I like the real stuff. And it's much, much cheaper, too. Waitrose 100% cocoa is £1.39 for 250g, which, at 10g per mug, is about 5.5p per mug, plus the cream.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry

I have tried your cocoa method and it is really good. Although I have got a few funny looks in the staff room at school when I made it there yesterday! Still who cares - I'd rather have that than the homogenised semi-skimmed milk in my tea that everyone else has.

The Hotel Chocolat stuff sounds nice for a treat although I think I'd still go for the local organic double cream option!


Anonymous said...

It seems now that the Norwegian diet (as in way of eating not short term exercise) may well suit the Northern Europeans better than the 'Mediterranean' diet. Unfortunately they still advocate low fat dairy, but apart from that it sounds feasible.



Anonymous said...

I switched from a fruitarian diet (believing it was humanity's "natural diet" at the time) to a high fat, low carb diet a few months ago after battling intense cravings for other foods for several months. I went from around 127 lbs on the fruitarian diet to 145 lbs as of a few days ago. (I'm a 5'10" man in my mid 20s) When I told my mom that I had gained that much weight in a couple of months, she asked me what I had been eating. I gave her yesterday's meals: my breakfast had consisted of two ham and cheese sandwiches fried in an entire stick of butter, lunch had consisted of fried liver and scrambled eggs, and dinner had consisted of a couple of sausages washed down with heavy cream. She seemed quite concerned and gave me a guide for determining my bodyfat percentage with a tape measurer. I discovered I am at 6.5% bodyfat. I had been lifting weights and swimming during that time and apparently most if not all of my weight gain had been muscle. I was wasting away on the fruit diet, not to mention I was constantly hungry! On this diet, after breakfast I am typically not hungry for another 8 hours. My roomie, who is a vegan, is teasing me for the amount of butter and fat I eat. He says I'm going to diet of a heart attack. :)

Barry Groves said...

Hi Anon

Well, you certainly aren't starving :-)

Your roomie needs to know that, statistically, you are likely to live longer than he is.

And to be healthier and happier during that life.

And your way of eating will probably even work out to be cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Great News about Sweden. Interesting to us as since the BBC version, we've been reading all the "Wallander" books by Henning Mankell. These were written in the 90s, and Wallander is portrayed as putting on weight, and he develops T2 diabetes. He is treated mostly by diet, but in one part, he is eating a sandwich, remembers his diet, ans scrapes off the butter! Doh! Clearly a low-fat diet. I'm tempted to write to Mankell (himself obviously overweight) to put Wallander on a low-carb diet, but maybe he will get the message himself :)

Cocoa: after reading that you drank cocoa Barry, I tried it (just water, no cream) and found it surprisingly good. Only now and again, as I'm afraid of the carbs, admittedly not much. Do you believe it is in any way "healthier" than tea or coffee?

Mike E.

Anonymous said...

p.s. It is interesting that the Swedes (perhaps jointly with the Norwegians) were, for a long time, the tallest people in Europe. I suspect that for a long time, they ate a pretty natural diet, although for a while, like most "developed" countries, fell for the low-fat nonsense.

Last I heard, the Dutch had overtaken them. Having been to NL quite a few times (daughter lived there) I'm not sure if they have all that healthy a diet ... plenty of carbs around, but they have lots of butter, cheese, fish and meat if you look for it.

The Americans used to be among the tallest people, if not the tallest for a while, but I believe they have fallen behind. I can't believe it's not connected with the dietary disaster that has befallen them in the last 30 years or so.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Mike

Makes you think, doesn't it?

And the despite the US spending way more than any other nation on health, they are only 12th out of the top 13 industrialised nations as far as their actual health is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry

What's your view on the lastest study in the US linking high meat consumption with cancer and heart disease?

It was all over the press yesterday.
Interested to hear your view.

Thanks Suzie

Barry Groves said...

Hi Suzie

I don't subscribe to this journal, so can't read the whole paper. However, if it were true, then there would have been more cancers when red meat was what we all did eat - but there wasn't. (One person in 27 got a cancer at the beginning of the 19th century; it's one in two today) And there would have also been more heart attacks - yet they were practically unheard of.

The same goes for modern peoples such as the Maasai who live on nothing but blood, milk, and red meat and don't suffer either disease at all.

These studies are pretty meaningless, in my opinion. I've just ordered 20 lbs of beef from my butcher. I'm not about to cancel it.

Anonymous said...

Any study that shows a link between red meat and any disease in the US can be totally ignored as I believe they pump all sorts of hormones into their cattle to increase their size. So they're not eating natural meat anyway.


Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Dr. Groves,

They've taken the debate over saturated fat in Sweden to the TV airwaves now. Check it out:


Barry Groves said...

Hi Jimmy

Good story on your blog. My sources haven't sent that to me.

I am trying to stri up a debate in the UK as well.

I have now written two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, via their website. The first was about the Food Standards Agency's adverts on UK TV against saturated fats; the second about Unilever's jumping on the anti-sat-fat bandwagon and using misleading information to promote Flora and their www.satfatnav.com website.

I had a dismissive reply from the ASA about the FSA's "saturated-fat-down-the-sink" ad almost by return, and replied a week ago with a more comprehensive case, dissecting the studies which purported that sat-fats were the cause of heart disease, and a lot more showing the benefits of eating sat-fats. They haven't replied to that yet, so may be giving it more consideration.

My complaint against Unilever hasn't elicited a reply yet. When it does, and when I have heard from the ASA about my second letter about the FSA, I propose to contact newspaper editors. The story will be either that the ASA has ruled that these anti-sat fat ads are misleading; or that despite a wealth of evidence, the ASA must be in cahoots with the food industry and that we might have to ban breastfeeding because mother's milk is 54% saturated. And that's more than in beef fat!

So, watch this space, as they say.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry

Have you seen this complete & utter rubbish on the satfatnav site?!


I've just been looking at the site and it really beggars belief!


Barry Groves said...

Hi Tanya

Oh, yes, I've read it, and I agree with you. But that site is run by Unilever, the makers of Flora and other margarines. (Unilever also fund The Fat Panel, by the way)

But that recipe isn't the way that commercial margarine is made. That is made of:

Edible oils,
edible fats,
salt or potassium chloride,
ascorbyl palmitate,
butylated hydroxyanisole,
mono- and di-glycerides of fat-forming fatty acids,
disodium guanylate,
diacetyltartaric and fatty acid es-ters of glycerol,
propyl, octyl or dodecyl gallate (or mixtures thereof),
propylene glycol mono- and di-esters,
sucrose esters of fatty acids,
annatto extracts,
tartaric acid,
ß-apo-carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester,
skim milk powder,
vitamins A and D.

Nuff sed?

Ned Clack said...

Hi Barry, thanks for all your work.

I note that Andrew Wadge of the FSA has put up a list of papers on his blog supporting the lipid hypothesis.


Is there one place on the web where criticisms of such work are collected together? It would be a great resource to help the public put context around the increasingly hysterical government proclamations.


Suzie said...

Just looked at satfatnav.com what a shocker. I too emailed the FSA a while back regarding their TV adverts, I even attached a whole loads of studies supporting the LCHF case. I received a read receipt and that was it.

I am studying my diploma in Nutrition at the moment and interestingly we learnt how successful a high fat, low carb diet is for treating epilepsy especially in children.

We also dicussed Stevia, the natural sugar substitute that is 300 times sweeter than sugar and does not affect blood sugar levels.
Has anyone tried using it? It is illegal to sell in the UK and US (no suprise here down to some hard lobbying from the manufacturers of the artificial sweeteners)however it is readily available on the net.

Anonymous said...


Have you a link for the website where stevia is available? I've heard of it - apparently it has been used by South Americans for thousands of years. I'd like to give it a try.


Trinkwasser said...

"Our Father Which art in Washington, give us this day our daily calcium propionate, sodium diacetate monoglyceride, potassium bromate, calcium phosphate, monobasic chloramine T, aluminium potassiumsulphate, sodium benzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole, mono-iso-propyl citrate, axerophthol and calciferol. Include with it a little flour and salt. Amen."

John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up, 1972

It came true!

Two blogs worth reading in detail



Suzie said...

Hi Tanya

I have ordered my stevia from Naturally Green online. It should arrive tomorrow so will let you know what its like. Plan to make some almond flour muffins

Barry Groves said...

Hi Ned

I can't think of a website where such criticisms are collected and published - but your idea is a good one.

If we started a new website, the problem would be to get people to see it. New sites can take a while to get going. That said, I already have a website that receives a million visitors a year.

How about I open a new section on second-opinions.co.uk. You, Suzie, Megan, and any other members of this blog who have complained to the FSA, ASA, Fat Panel, et al, can send me a copy of their complaint and, if possible, the reply, and I will publish them.

I like the prayer. Not much has changed for the better in 37 years. That just about sums up what is still gthe philosophy today.

Those are two very good blogs. I knew Hyperlipid (a THINCS member sa I am), but not the other one.

There is no doubt that, not only are more anti-establishment blogs coming online, but they are written by knowledgeable and intelligent people - unlike those who seek to rule us. Perhaps we can all get together.

Monica (my wife) has a theory that those at the FSA, Fat Panel, etc, are all on statins. It could certainly explain a lot.

By the way, a new study has been published which shows that saturated fat has no effect on LDL, but it raises HDL and also gives people more energy. It's on second-opinions here


Trinkwasser said...

Quite the best list of blogs I know is on


Regina doesn;t write much any more but there's hardly anyone on that list who isn't worth reading. I only recently came across Stephan's blog and added it to my must read list.

Nice study, but hardly surprising. My experience is mirrored by many: Type 2 (skinny with reactive hypoglycemia) rapidly disintegrating on the Heart Healthy diet.

HDL 0.63 LDL 4.22 trigs 6.81

By using this simple paradigm


my BG seldom goes over 6 or below 4

This directed me towards something like a Primal/Protein Power diet with around 60 - 100g carbs, which literally decimated my trigs and doubled HDL

The latest experiment was to replace the Heart Healthy Omega 6s with sat fats a la Stephan (I was already eating loads of fish for Omega 3s) and it appears that without the toxic carb overload and the corresponding hyperinsulinemia I convert them into HDL - HDL went up and LDL came down by about the same amount

HDL 1.40 LDL 2.40 trigs 0.70

none too shabby eh?

My GP was hugely impressed by the results but freaked out when I told her how I achieved it.

Sad, for she is quite intelligent, but limited in what she is permitted to do by accountants: she is forbidden to prescribe BG test strips, not permitted to recommend other than a high carb low fat diet and forbidden to request Full Lipid Panel over TChol (but she turns a blind eye when I edit the blood test forms myself), and has basically told me to go on doing what I'm doing. I feel she and her colleagues are as frustrated as her patients. The nurses seem more able to go against protocol.

The accountants need to save money on those crucial test strips in order to afford the amputations and dialysis in the future. Now they will need to be saving even more money to afford all those extra statins and the results of all the extra cardiovascular disease and obesity which will also result from their current policies


Barry Groves said...

Hi Trinkwasser

How right you are! But, let's be fair, if doctors were allowed to practse medicine, how on earth would Pfizer, et al, make any money?

Not to mention all those people the government is recruiting from the unemployed, and planning to pay £8.50 an hour just to snoop around in supermarkets, and tell us that the meat, butter, milk, cheese and eggs we have bought are unhealthy!!

It's like living in an asylum that is being run by the inmates - and being forced to pay for the privilege.

Tatiana said...

Hi Barry

I've just read your article on the possibility of people who deny climate change being ruled as metally ill. What about those of us who don't 'believe' the healthy eating rules? How long before we too are told we're mentally unstable? This reminds me of how a century ago an unmarried mother might find herself in an asylum or indeed in dictatorships during the 20th century when anyone who disagreed with the regime could suffer a similar fate! What is happening here???

Trinkwasser said...

I've removed myself from the worst of the madness, here in rural Suffolk we still have local shops that sell local meat fish and veggies which are traceable to source.

However you can see the reason for the emphasis on carbs in the diet: probably 60 - 75% of the arable land is down to carbs, largely wheat but also other grains, sugar beet, potatoes, peas etc. and much of the rest is oilseed rape.

Not really the farmers' fault, they have to grow what makes the best profit (or in some years the smallest loss) but the majority of the profit comes from using these cheap feedstocks for the "Food Industry" where it is hugely marked up before resale.

Farm gate prices for milk, lamb etc. are often below the cost of production. That's why I try to buy from a chain with as few middlemen as possible, and no shareholders.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Tatiana

What is happening is just as you describe. It appears that Monsanto has a slogan: "Control the food supply, and you control the people."

But that wouldn't necessarily only apply to those who control seeds. When I started to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet in 1962, fat beef was abundant - and we revelled in it. Not only was it more satisfying, the meat was soft, succulent, tender and tasty.

I managed, through a local butcher, to get meat like that until about 10 years ago. But not any more. You may have noticed that beef of that quality is now very difficult if not impossible to get.

Supermarket beef is not worth buying and, even through a butcher, what is available tends to be bland, dry and tough.

I think the idea is that we should all become vegetarians, and making meat unpalatable will certainly help that cause. But destroying animal farming in those countries that subscribe to 'healthy eating' guidelines can only add to the ill-health in those countries and also to impoverishment of the soil on which we also depend for our food quality (see the end of Chapter 8).

In a world that is overpopulated, deliberately advocating policies that damage the food supply seems to me to be a very reckless thing to do. But, then, those who do rule us appear to have very little concept of what real food is or how it is produced. And even less concept of what our natural diet as a species is.

I am seriously thinking of keeping chickens for their eggs, and a pig. The problem is, I sometimes have to go away for weeks at a time. Who would look after them?

Trinkwasser said...

There's a good synergy here, the arable guys rely on the manure from the animal farmers to feed their soil which keeps down the amount of expensive fertiliser they need to spread. There are many parts of the country (and the rest of the world) where you simply can't grow arable or many other crops, and sheep or cows are the only viable way of using the land (also game of course, and on occasion goats).

I sympathise about the meat, I gave up on beef long before BSE raised its ugly head simply because it appeared to have died of old age and been rejected by the shoe factory before arriving in the butcher's shop, let alone the supermarket.

The stuff we get here is truly like going back in time 40 years or more. It is grass fed, Dexters, Angus or Suffolk Red Poll, none of those double muscled Eurobeasts stuffed with hormones, and properly hung in the shop.

Venison makes a very good alternative, again it has run around in the open air eating real food instead of being stuffed with grain until it gets dyslipidemia. Also the local lowland sheep and open air pigs are several orders of magnitude more flavoursome and nutritious than their intensively reared cousins.

Proof that it *can* be done.

Try this for cocoa: mix organic free trade cocoa powder (Co-Op) with enough milk to make a paste. (About the only carry-over from my previous low fat diet is that I prefer the taste of skim milk) I add a couple of Splenda tabs and here's the glory stroke, about three drops of peppermint oil. Top off with a dash more milk and imbibe.

Anonymous said...

I think this lecture by Robert Sapolsky, supports that a high fat diet is protective for the brain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barry
I am reading your Trick or Treat book with great interest although I have to admit to still being a little sceptical (40 years of low fat, high carbs belief is a lot to give up). What i am particularly struggling with is what you do for breakfast. Carbo breakfasts are so engrained that I am not sure how you can even begin to embrace this new lifestyle!
Guidance from someone who knows greatefully received and will be processed ready for a change in belief!
Best wishes

Barry Groves said...


It isn't really that difficult. I usually start the day with egg and bacon fried in coconut oil or a mix of coconut oil and goose fat, or eggs scrambled in butter, or a cheese omelette, or fried liver and egg.

But breakfast is just a meal. You can eat steak and salad if you want. The important part is that it must be high in protein to be satisfying and to stop you flagging during the day and having to snack.

I'm sorry I've been neglecting this blog. I have been very busy - still am - demolishing part of my house to accommodate new rooms, which I must get done before the weather changes. But I hope to have another article online in a couple of days presenting compelling evidence that ALL animals in the wild naturally eat a high-fat diet. We 'civilised' humans (and our pets and food animals whose diet we control) are the only animals which don't - and we and they are the only ones that suffer the 'diseases of civilisation'. That might seem like an impossible claim, but I promise you I can justify it.


mindhorizon said...

I wonder if the Swedish anti-sat-fat expert confused the rate of coronary artery disease with the rate of coronary deaths. My understanding is that the latter has gotten lower because we are better at emergency care now.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Mindhorizon

Who knows what these people think!

It's certainly true that medical intervention - via surgery mainly - has kept people alive. But that is against a background of increasing morbidity.

As I showed in Chapter One of Trick & Treat, that's the point. Those who can profit from illness want us to be sick so that they can make money. If we aren't ill, they would be out of work snd missing very good salaries and lifestyles.