Is Jonathan Bailor Lipophobic?


Also enjoy this segment from the Balanced Bites podcast

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Jimmy Moore and his listeners on Jimmy’s “Ask the Low-Carb Experts Show.” Wanted to share the show here as well as some commentary that took place afterwards. Thanks for the great show Jimmy! 

Comment 1

Did anyone notice the contradiction in what Jonathan said? His ‘SANE’ system suggests that vegetables and protein are the most satiating of foods; but he said to Jimmy that there’s nothing more satiating than fat, admitting that he never feels quite satiated without it! Umm, Jonathan, what about all that water and fibre that you claimed would sate you?

So, why does he constantly de-emphasise fat? Well, he still *does* have a remnant of fat phobia. It’s not the Ancel Keys full-blown variety (“don’t eat fat or you’re gonna die!”) but a more subtle version of it, where fat is treated with careful suspicion. Notice how many times Jonathan referred to how easy it is to “overeat” fats. Has anyone noticed a huge contradiction in his statements? Firstly, he says “you don’t need to count calories; calories-in/calories-out is falacious”. Then he says “Fats have so many calories you need to be careful not to eat too much of it” (ie: you need to count your calories!)

As Jimmy and so many others have found out: there is NOTHING as satiating and as metabolically-regulating as dietary-fat.

Finally, I was pulling my hair out when he talked about getting low-fat, processed Greek Yoghurt instead of the natural, full-fat variety, and then *adding* additional processed fats to it! And then recommending egg-white omelettes! This is not the language of someone who believes in genuine whole-food, sane eating, but of an obsessive who’s just doing calorie-counting through the back door, who works hard to tailor his plan so that it offends the sensibilities of conventional wisdom as little as possible.

Comment 2

I’m very glad that some of your questioners called Bailor out on the low-fat nonsense that pervades his book. It’s amazing that he pretends that the diet recommendations in his book have anything to do with either low carb or paleo – most of them are based on completely conventional dietary advice (egg whites, etc.) which is how he managed to get so many endorsements from the mainstream medical community. In your podcast he comes over just like a politician saying whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear, but if you read his book the diet he actually advocates is 33% carbohydrate and 33% protein. His emphasis on whey protein, egg whites, fat-free yogurt and cottage cheese is really problematic.

My Reply

Thank you for your feedback.

As I mentioned on the podcast I think all of our time is much better served celebrating our similarities rather than attacking our differences. I’m really glad to hear that low-carb/high-fat is working for you and hope that you would acknowledge that science and billions of people have shown that it is possible to be quite healthy and slim while getting less than 60% of one’s calories from fat. I think our shared effort of getting the mainstream to consume less carbohydrate would be furthered if we avoided perpetuating the very dietary prejudice (aka prejudging a way of eating based on one characteristic that differs from our own way of eating) that frustrates us so much (aka when many mainstream “experts” dismiss a well formulated low-carb/high-fat diet as unhealthy based on their fat content and lack of healthy whole grains).

To briefly note some of the “contradictions:”

  • We don’t need to count calories when we eat SANEly. That doesn’t mean calories don’t count. If we metabolize more calories than our body can eliminate, we will gain fat. Calories count. However, that can’t mean that humans have to count calories to be healthy and fit considering that the concept of a calorie didn’t even exist in until 1824…while humans were healthy and fit long before then.
  • You may note from The Smarter Science of Slim text and from the podcast that I explicitly say it’s not a low-carb/high-fat diet. This doesn’t mean I’m against low-carb/high-fat, it’s just that it’s not what I’m writing about nor have I ever claimed it is. With this in mind, I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise that what I recommend isn’t 100% in line with the low-carb/high-fat way of eating.
  • While fat is satiating (as I mentioned in the podcast), water, protein, and fiber also play critical roles. http://thesmarterscienceofslim… & http://thesmarterscienceofslim….
  • For those of us who are struggling with fat loss, it may not be necessary for all of us to go out of our way to eat more fat, as our body can always eat more fat from the stores we’re carrying around with us.
  • I hope we don’t stereotype anyone who thinks people can be healthy and slim while getting less than 60% of their calories from fat as fat phobic as doing so risks alienating a lot of brilliant researchers, many of whom we may otherwise really enjoy (ex. Cordain, Eaton, Konner, Kresser, Guyenet, etc.).

Sorry I haven’t provided a more detailed reply here. I’ve referenced the research supporting my recommendations extensively in my book, think a well formulated low-carb/high-fat diet is wonderful for many, and am delighted that you have found a way of eating that works for you. Here’s to working together to help others enjoy the health benefits of a grain-free, sugar-free, and seed-oil free lifestyle rather than tearing each other down for not recommending a one size fits all diet. – Jonathan Bailor
Jonathan Bailor!/jonathanbailor
(212) 465-3130

9 replies
  1. Panny
    Panny says:

    I have to commend Jonathan for going on the show and focusing on what you have in common rather than argue the differences. There’s a great movement of health that has lately been backed by great science. Whether it’s low carb, paleo, traditional (Weston A Price), low glycemic or Jonathan’s approach; the world would be a much healthier place. I’m way more into low carb personally and still benefit from Jonathan’s work. It would be much more beneficial for everyone to work together, as there’s much work to be done and there’s bigger problems and forces that are preventing real food and good science from being adopted. Industry and government have such a stranglehold on legislation and funding, it would suit them to see lots of arguing among us. Once we can move away from sugar, processed carbs and oils then we can debate between the rest when were much healthier, slimmer and more energetic!

    • Jonathan
      Jonathan says:

      Thanks Panny! You are so spot on that we all need to come together to actualize the change that we as a society are so deeply in need of. I really appreciate your support.

      – Jonathan Bailor

  2. Shameer Mulji
    Shameer Mulji says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I just discovered your site and so far I really enjoy it. I have one question;

    What are your thoughts on eating root tubers (ie; yams, sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, etc) as part of a healthy diet?

  3. DoctorJohn
    DoctorJohn says:

    I just had a chance to listen to the entire podcast by Jimmy Moore with Jonathan Bailor as the invited guest. What I heard during the program was a strong commonality of ideas for promoting health and fitness albeit with slightly different individual approaches.
    Jonathan did mention that he enjoyed fat as a satiety tool however this was in the context of ADDING THE HEALTHY FAT MACRONUTRIENT, which he can choose, to protein rich low fat greek yogurt and/ or protein rich smoothies. Water, fiber, protein also acts as a wonderful satity agent. Absolutely nothing wrong with full fat Greek yogurt if you enjoy this.
    Atkins, Paleo, The Smarter Science of Slim, and different versions of low carb lifestyles all rescue us from the powerful lobbyists that promote things like ” The Food Pyramid” and “My Plate”. All of the lifestyles promoted on Jimmy’s show share an interest by the participants in ” living well and getting heathy” which is a goal within reach of nearly all of us. Let us support each other and encourage these individual approaches while disseminating the science, along with our own personal results, to diminish the explosion of obesity and related diseases over the last few decades!
    Cheers DoctorJohn

  4. Karen Kettner
    Karen Kettner says:

    Thank you for these evidence based blog posts. As a nurse, I appreciate something based in fact, and not the latest fad. I am back in school getting my Masters, and my next paper due is one in Biochemistry on the importance of fat in the diet. I think I can speak to that now!

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