sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2014

Low carb and Paleo Diets in Brazil - September 2014 update

Well, it was been a long time since I last wrote here.

A lot has happened.

Dr. Souto's blog has grown a lot. More than 4 million page views!

So much that it has even bothered some people, that tried to remove him from Facebook. Thanks to that, the blog now has a new address:

A lot of talks are happening all over Brazil. Here is one example:
Even some online events have happened, such as the
National Conference on Paleo and Low Carb Nutrition ("Congresso Nacional Online de Nutrição Paleo e Low Carb").

As part of the attack to Dr. Souto, two big Facebook groups, each with more than 14,000 members, were closed. But new groups were created and are growing:

And the "Dieta Low-Carb e Paleolítica" page has almost 4 thousand "likes":ítica/139327229556443

sexta-feira, 24 de maio de 2013

Low Carb Diets in Brazil - May 2013 status update

A Brazilian paper contributes to show that low-carb diets are good for weight loss

First, read this tweet:
LCHF wins new meta-analysis of all *long term* weight loss trials!

It mentions a post by Andreas Eenfeldt on his blog.

The post mentions a paper written by four Brazilians!

The paper is entitled

Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

written by

Nassib Bezerra Bueno, Ingrid Sofia Vieira de Melo, Suzana Lima de Oliveira and Terezinha da Rocha Ataide

from the

Laboratório de Nutrição Experimental, Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Campus A. C. Simões, BR 104 Norte, Km 97, 57.072-970 Tabuleiro do Martins, Maceió, AL, Brazil 

It is not yet news here in Brazil.  But, who knows if in the next months it will be?


Dr. José Carlos Souto and his blog

The Low-Carb and Paleolithic Diet (in Portuguese) Facebook page (which I created) already has 196 likes. This page reposts on Facebook the posts from the Low-Carb and Paleolithic Diet blog. I have written about  this blog before. Its author, José Carlos Souto, MD, is probably the most famous proponent of low-carb and paleo diets in Brazil.

And Dr. José Carlos Souto made a huge favor to several of his followers. He compiled a list of Brazilian health professionals that suggest low-carb and/or paleo diets. At this moment, there are 17 professionals on this list.

On January 2013, I commented that Dr. Souto's blog had achieved 100,000 views. Well, right now (May 24th, 2013) it has 410,583 views! A huge increase.

The interest on low carb and paleo diets is growing in such a way that Yahoo Brazil has written an entry on those diets. The text is good but has some mistakes, that Dr. José Carlos Souto commented and corrected on a post in his blog

A new Facebook Group: Dieta Paleo

Two or three months ago a new Facebook group to discuss (in Brazilian Portuguese) low-carb and paleo diets was created: Dieta Paleo. Yesterday (May 23th, 2013) the group has admitted its 100th member. And it is still growing. Right now, it has 102 members. It is a very active group, with intelligent members that post interesting links, exchange recipes and personal experiences, and start useful discussion.

There is another Facebook group on Paleo Diet: Paleo Brasil. It has even more members: 245. But it is less active and restricted to the paleo diet. Low carbers that consume dairy, for instance, are not welcome.

A dietitian debunking myths on TV

A dietitian, Pollyana Esteves, went to a rather famous TV program (Nutricionista conta quais são os maiores mitos sobre alimentos) to say that:
  • lard is good
  • eggs are healthy
  • butter is good
  • canola oil is bad 
  • soy milk is not good
and so on.  That is, low-carbers know that this is probably true, but most people think that this is false.
The video is also on YouTube. The interesting part is that YouTube allows likes/dislikes and comments. At the moment of writing this, the video received 49 likes and 123 dislikes! Almost 3 times more dislikes! And the video has more than 16,000 views.

And the comments show that some dietitians didn't like what she said. A commenter even said that Polly Esteves was once sued by the National Board of Dietitians because of her opinions!

Danilo Balu

Danilo Balu (I have translated one of his texts in a previous post) has written another post on his blog: Know three myths and four facts about weight loss and obesity. Danilo Balu is also on the video below: Is it possible to run well eating low carb?

segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2013

Two excellent news

The Diet Doctor blog mentioned a Brazilian documentary in this post:The Cause of Morbid Childhood Obesity. Dr. José Carlos Souto was the one who sent the link to Andreas Eenfeldt.

He wrote there:
"I am the one who sent the movie link to Dr. Eenfeldt. And I come from a fully low-carb / paleo perspective (I have translated Dr. Eenfeldt's recommendations to Portuguese in my blog, for example, so I am clearly not against fat in my food!). But I wholeheartedly agree with Ted Hutchinson, above. Yes, they do blame fat in some parts of the movie, but the main message is clearly bashing sugar and processed food. As I said in my (Portuguese) blog post, the fact that the movie director does not come from the paleo / lowcarb world and yet manages to hit the nail in the head (processed food and sugar) makes the documentary even more compelling. And some scenes speak for themselves: the kids that cannot name everyday real foods (because all they've eaten their whole lives was processed), the Nestle floating supermarket deep in the Amazon forest...
So yes, we still need to work on the fatphobia, but I maintain that everyone should see this movie - and feel angry about it."

The Primal Brasil Facebook page has achieved more than 1,000 likes:
Translation: There is nothing in the world more beautiful than gratitude

sábado, 2 de fevereiro de 2013

It is valid to question the professional consensus about weight loss?, by Danilo Balu

This post was written by Danilo Balu, who has two degrees: one in Sports and the other in Nutrition, both from one of the best (if not the best) Brazilian Universities. It is making a huge success (more than 40 comments) in a famous running site: Webrun. Some of the comments are even offending Balu.

I have translated the post so that people from other countries could read.
Unfortunately, I am not a professional translator.
The original post can be found in

It is valid to question the professional consensus about weight loss?
Danilo Balu
Or why, when it comes to weight loss, I do not believe in Nutritionists or Doctors.

Rigorous carbohydrate restriction is the solution
Photo: Pixaio/ Stock.Xchng

At the annual reunion of my Bachelor of Sport class (EEFE-São Paulo University), I had two pleasant surprises. I saw that one of my best friends was thinner than ever.

He lost 16kg after reading the book by Gary Taubes (Why we get fat) I recommended. Another colleague told me at the same event that he lost 8kg in a month doing the same thing! The most interesting fact: they are two of the best sport trainers in the country in their respective modalities and they did not increase their training. Nothing.

Controversies- I have some care and rigor when I say some things in this space. I have a certain obsession with scientific methodology. Therefore I don't go out there recommending stretching before running or slowdown after running. I do not do either of them because the first proved useless or counterproductive while the second has no support in science.

Carbohydrates - For almost two years, I have been advocating for another cause: the rigorous restriction of carbohydrates and refined foods of our diet. Everything I wrote before, I just do not recognize.

After studying this issue, I came to a conclusion: everything, absolutely everything that I was taught in college (in the Sports and Nutrition undergraduate courses at the University of São Paulo) is simply shoddy and poorly done empiricism. As Taubes does not call any Nutrition professional a Scientist, I can not see the "conventional" Nutrition as a Science. It is at best divination, faith healing, a flirtation with deception.

Old recipe- Nutrition and Medicine have been fighting obesity for decades. But obesity keeps increasing worldwide. The solution proposed by Nutrition and Medicine that seems convincing: to get thin we need to consume fewer calories than we spend.

The problem is that this argument lacks any support. To make matters worse, there is plenty of evidence that indicates that weight is related to a hormonal dysfunction and other examples showing that calorie deficit does not produce weight loss.

And what doctors and nutritionists do? Even applying the same "remedy" for decades and the obesity problem only getting worse, professionals give even more support to a solution that was never proven effective. I make a call: ask any professional what is his recommendation for diabetics, hypertensive and obese people.

Or, more simply, search web portals with nutritional recommendations. In all of those sites, the "tip" is to consume less fat. This is the obsession with cutting fat!

New approaches - In the eyes of the layman, the nutritional advice for anyone who wants to lose weight has become the practice of common sense. Medical doctors and nutritionists are giving recommendations that have no support other than theory or supposition.

Worst still, many scientific studies have disproven hypothesis accepted as the truth. These "widely accepted truths" are contradictory to that which has been proven: the drastic reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates is an effective way to reduce weight.

My recommendation for now is: be receptive to new theories because it is very possible that the professional that you chose to advice you does not have the slightest idea of what they talking about.

PS: Thanks for the guys at The Health Fanatic for correcting some of the mistakes in the translation.

terça-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2013

What is happening? Souto, Balu, Noakes, Moore, BJJ Caveman and McConaughey

Dr. José Carlos Souto latest post, called "The brain does not need glucose!? The  longest fast in history" has had more than 40 comments (and Dr. Souto answers most of these comments)! His blog has reached 138,412 views (by January 29th, 2013). The blog now has a Facebook page, created by the author of this blog.

On January 28th, Danilo Balu wrote a post related to Low Carb Diets. His post was published on Webrun, one of the biggest running sites in Brazil. The name of the post is "It is valid to question the professional consensus about weight loss?". 

In his post, he wrote:
Nutrition and Medicine have been fighting . But the increasing worldwide obesity trends for decades with a solution that is very compelling: to get thin  we need to consume fewer calories than we spend.

The problem is that this argument lacks any support.

In Portuguese:

A Nutrição e a Medicina há décadas lutam contra a obesidade crescente no mundo com uma solução que é bem convincente: para emagrecermos, precisaríamos consumir menos calorias do que gastamos.

O problema é que essa tese carece de todo e qualquer suporte.

An interview with Professor Tim Noakes was translated into Portuguese. It's a Q&A with Tim Noakes on LCHF, Endurance Sport and Surfing!

This blog (Low Carb Diets in Brazil) was mentioned as one of the 28 New Paleo, Low-Carb & Health Blogs For January 2013 on the highly influential Livin' La Vida Low Carb blog, written by Jimmy Moore. Another Brazilian blog mentioned was the one written by Claudia Vilaça: Claudia V.50.

On the list there is also a blog called BJJ Caveman. BJJ is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a martial art. I don't know if the author is Brazilian, but he certainly knows a bit about Brazil:

I did pretty well today with my diet.  Started the day off with my hot cocoa fat bomb… then for lunch we went to a Brazilian BBQ Churrascaria place…. Perfect for a ketogenic diet… if not a little high on the protein side.  No carbs whatsoever… just lots and lots of meat.  Needless to say, this gave me a strong feeling of food coma afterwards which I addressed by napping through one of the lectures in my conference.

He has an interesting post on Nutritional Ketosis Tools.

A post on the Paleo/Primal Brasil blog analyzes Robb Wolf's opinion on low carb diets.

One last comment. According to this site, Matthew McConaughey follows a Low Carb or paleo diet. Ok, Matthew is not Brazilian. But he is married to a Brazilian top model: Camila Alves. He even, according to IMDb:

  • Attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with his girlfriend. [February 2008]
  • Played Brazilian music for eight straight hours in the operating room to help his girlfriend, Camila Alves, give birth to their child, Levi.

He recently had to become very thin (see here and here in Portuguese) because of a role. But he is usually very fit.


sábado, 19 de janeiro de 2013

A new book and 100,000 views!

In a previous post, I have commented that there are not many books in Portuguese on low carb or paleo diets.

So, it was good to know that "The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging", by Arthur De Vany was translated into Portuguese. It is not considered by low carbers a reference book. But, according to Dr. José Carlos Souto, it is better than nothing. Dr. Couto says that you must ignore everything De Vany writes about fat.

The book is called, in Portuguese, A nova dieta da evolução:

Another good news was to know that the best blog on low-carb diets in Brazil has reached 100,000 views! You can see that there are many comments (more than 80) in this post, proving that low carb is growing in Brazil.

I have also discovered that Marcelo Hermes-Lima, a scientist and a professor in one of the biggest universities in Brazil, has tried a low-carb diet in 2009, losing more than 6 kg.  His blog is popular amongst scientists. I will ask him if he still follows the diet.

domingo, 6 de janeiro de 2013

The Status of Low Carb in Brazil - January 2013

In my opinion, low carb diets are not well known in Brazil. No major public figure has yet adopted a low carb diet. No well known Medical Doctor defends low carb diets (as Tim Noakes does in South Africa). Most people in Brazil still think low carb, high fat diets are unhealthy.

For example, Gary Taubes' books have not yet been translated into Portuguese (Brazil's only language). As most Brazilians can't read English, the fact that Amazon Brazil sells Taubes's books in English is not very helpful.

Curiously, Robert Atkins's books have been translated into Portuguese in the past and are still available in some used book stores. Atkins Diet is relatively well known. There is a Wikipedia entry on Atkins Diet in Portuguese and many sites with recipes and other information. But the Atkins Diet is usually seen as a diet only for weight loss, not for general health.

But the Internet saves us. There are some good Brazilian blogs about low carb and paleo diets.

The oldest is probably this one: Paleo Brasil The authors (Bruna and Caio) are two business administrators that became interested in a low carb lifestyle and decided to share their experience with Brazilians. Its first post was in August 31st, 2011. There is a post called The Primal Diet: an Introduction, written on September 1st, 2011, which was probably the first description of a low-carb diet in Brazilian Portuguese.
One of the authors (Caio Augusto Fleury) recently  (October 2012) published the first book on paleo diets in Portuguese. It is called "The Diet of Our Ancestors". It is not very popular yet.

But the blog about low carb diets that probably has more views and more impact in Brazil is called Low-Carb and Paleolithic Diet It is written by a Medical Doctor, José Carlos Souto. The first post was written on December 17th, 2011. In this post, Dr. Souto tells us that he discovered Gary Taubes book by chance, while listening to the Skepticality podcast. Dr. Souto is a urologist (if he were a nutrologist people would listen more to him) but he can read English (not all Brazilian medical doctors can). He has read a lot of books and papers on low carb diets. And he understands Science. His posts have lots of comments. Some of them are testimonies, which show that some Brazilians are having success with low-carb diets. Up to now (January 6th, 2013), he has written 98 posts. And he is also active on Twitter and Google Plus.

José Carlos Souto, MD, who maintains one of the most popular low-carb blogs in Brazil.

Danilo Balu, who has two degrees, one in Sports and other in Nutrition, has written some interesting posts on why people get fat. It is not exactly about low-carb diets, but he has analyzed, in 2012, Gary Taubes's work in a series of posts called "Reasons that make us fat may be wrong": Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Previously, he has written "Eating less and exercising more does not make you lose weight"

There other interesting blogs and some other health professionals who know what a low carb diet is and how it can be helpful. And I hope much more will appear in the following years. In due time, I will report them in this blog.

PS: There is a group on Facebook called Paleo Brasil with 122 members (as of Jaunary 8th, 2013)

If you know a good Brazilian blog on low carb diets, tell me in the comments.