The Western Diet Is Deadly


The following letter-to-the-editor was written in response to an off-target criticism of my article “Eating And Mindful Metabolic Management.” My letter summarizes the essential (and largely unrecognized) facts about human food-energy and metabolism, which were variously described in my “food trilogy” (listed at bottom).

MG,Jr. Letter, Summarizing His Food Articles

Note this new press release:

“Following a Western Style Diet May Lead to Greater Risk of Premature Death”
15 April 2013

It confirms the soundness of my article Eating and Mindful Metabolic Management (

From the Alpha Galileo press release:

Data from a new study of British adults suggest that adherence to a “Western-style” diet (fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products) reduces a person’s likelihood of achieving older ages in good health and with higher functionality. Study results appear in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
[End Quote]

Also of interest is the following New York Times story about a newly-discovered biochemical link between red meat consumption and heart attacks, via the action of gut bacteria.

“Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meat’s Fat”
7 April 2013

From Kolata’s article:

These scientists suspected that saturated fat and cholesterol made only a minor contribution to the increased amount of heart disease seen in red-meat eaters. The real culprit, they proposed, was a little-studied chemical that is burped out by bacteria in the intestines after people eat red meat. It is quickly converted by the liver into yet another little-studied chemical called TMAO that gets into the blood and increases the risk of heart disease… TMAO levels turned out to predict heart attack risk in humans, the researchers found. The researchers also found that TMAO actually caused heart disease in mice.
[End Quote]

Kolata’s article describes how the researchers administered antibiotics to the human subjects during a phase of the experiment, to eliminate their gut bacteria and consequently shut down the production of TMAO, and thus identify the role of gut bacteria in the causal chain under investigation. I’m sure this will give some carnivores the bright idea of taking antibiotics with their steaks. However, it would be foolish to interpret this study as a recommendation to consume antibiotics routinely so as to consume red meat frequently.

Finally, a new book by Michael Pollan has just been published, it is about cooking. That is to say, about real home cooking of real whole foods to regain and maintain real health.

“Pollan Cooks!”
17 April 2013


MG,Jr. Food Trilogy:

Eating and Mindful Metabolic Management
25 March 2013

How To Lose Weight
2 March 2013

The Pathology Of The Processed Food Industry
22 February 2013