Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunday Smörgåsbord: liberty, the internet, worry, health & Lyle McDonald.

Five items this time, not necessarily related.
By liberty, I mean personal liberty. I believe that individuals should be free to do whatever they want, provided that they don't harm another individual. However, collections of individuals should not be free to do whatever they want, as collections of individuals (i.e. businesses) usually try to profit from individuals, so the welfare of the individual isn't of importance. Businesses obviously don't want to instantly kill their customers, as that's obvious and will probably get them sued. However, "killing them softly" isn't obvious!

In the EC, just about everything has a CE kite-mark in order that it may be sold in the EC. Standards include EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) to ensure that:-
a) Devices don't emit excessive levels of RF "radiation", which may interfere with other devices.
b) Devices don't respond to excessive levels of RF "radiation", which may interfere with their operation.
I put "radiation" in quotes, as it's TEM (Transverse Electro-Magnetic) radiation i.e. Radio Waves.

In the US, who knows?

This is about "Smart Meters" - again! I've recently seen a surge in Facebook statuses about Smart Meters. I posted a technical article about these devices in Smart meters. Even after I posted a link on Facebook to my article, links to alarmist pages still appeared. The latest one is The Great “Smart Meters” Hoax. Electromagnetic Fields Are Real And Dangerous To Our Health, where Sam Milham, MD, MPH epidemiologist & researcher tells us how things really are.

Unfortunately, he's talking shite. The problem with people talking alarmist shite on the internet is that people who read alarmist internet shite and who are ignorant of the subject, believe it! This causes Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt (FUD), which in turn causes chronic worry. Chronic worry causes chronic hypercortisolaemia, which isn't good. A placebo (e.g. wrapping aluminium foil around your Smart Meter or paying for a "proper" solution to the non-existent problem) alleviates the chronic worry, which improves health.

I don't know about US Smart Meters. For all I know, some eejit has designed them to transmit 1,000W of RF (I'm just being silly), to get an outdoor range of >100miles. As these devices are designed for short-range communication, they probably transmit up to 100mW (about the same power level as WiFi) to get an outdoor range of ~150m. 1mW is one thousandth of a Watt. Transmitting more power than is necessary increases the probability of interference to other electronic devices.

100mW is a lot lower than the power transmitted by mobile phones (up to 2,000mW for the 850/900MHz Vodafone/O2 network), which need to be able to reliably communicate with the nearest mast, which may be miles away. As mobile phones constantly transmit occasional bursts of RF (to let the network know that they are on) and they are either in a pocket or are held against the ear/in front of the face to make/receive calls etc (while transmitting regular bursts of RF) and they are safe to use, how can a Smart Meter which is transmitting a much lower power level at a much greater separation be harmful? It can't.

With WiFi, Equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) in the EU is limited to 100mW. Dunno about the US. Bluetooth is very-low-power (~1mW for Class 3 devices).

So stop worrying! Chronic worry (also, reading alarmist internet shite) is bad for your health.

Finally, I noticed that Evelyn Kocur "liked" an article that I'd read and completely forgotten about. It's Evidence From the Metabolic Ward: 1.6-2.4g/kg Protein Turn Short Term Weight Loss Intervention into a Fat Loss Diet. Interestingly, the protein intake for optimum body recomposition is 1.6-2.4g/kg LBM. This is equivalent to ~1g/lb LBM, which is the protein recommendation given by Lyle McDonald in his Rapid Fat Loss Handbook. Yup, Lyle was right all along. That amount of protein isn't bad for the kidneys (even 50% more protein than that, isn't bad for the kidneys).


Kade Storm A.K.A. Hedonist said...

Yes, but moderate protein as well as protein-phobia are in vogue now, my friend.

Andrew Kim has that article where he's critical about certain diets, namely low-carb. One of the comments that followed was the typical, "But was it proper high-fat and *moderate* protein?" Followed by your own comment, I believe, which was something along the lines of questioning whether he was referring to constant ketosis or a less aggressive form of carbohydrate restriction. Now in the context of whole-food dietary terms, where eggs, meat and vegetables--with no added fats etc.--form the base of the diet, one's looking at a substantially higher protein intake with a moderate-to-high fat content and lower-ish carbohydrate. Is that really so bad?

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I've never been a dedicated follower of fashion :-D

As a protein intake of up to about 400g a day (equivalent to about 2lb of meat/poultry/fish a day) is safe for the vast majority of people (limited by their livers' ability to deaminate surplus protein), I have no problem with high protein diets. As Prof. Andro pointed out, they merely result in expensive urine!

Kade Storm A.K.A. Hedonist said...

Right on. . . It's interesting that this subject is now getting some proper attention. Woo's also touched on it in the past and now addresses it at length in one of her recent posts.

If one's eating carbohydrate restricted and meat and eggs are a sort of staple in the diet, then protein is a major factor that in my opinion, which I base on the general research and much of the body building community's approach, is actually a good thing.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

There's no danger of "rabbit starvation" when eating farmed animal produce, as the fat content of farmed animal produce is way above ~5% by weight (~10% by energy).

The only ultra-low-fat protein foods are most legumes, egg-whites, non-oily fish & protein powders.

Kade Storm A.K.A. Hedonist said...

Caution: N=1, ahoy!

I've been on this forum dedicated to mixed carnivore eating strategies. Basically a toned-down off-shoot of the zero-carb zeal. It was created by those who still find that they benefit from meat as the base of the diet, but with some added elements and without the bat-shit dogma that tends to plague certain puritanical covenants.

I was reading through their archives two-years-earlier, and this one fellow went on a Rabbit Starvation experiment. NOTHING HAPPENED. The individual in question was already one of those success stories who had become lean and built muscle on a high meat diet. He had become an outdoors buff; went on hikes and did hunting, etc. So to test all this Rabbit Starvation nonsense, he went on a high protein diet comprised of actual rabbit hunting, lean chicken, turkey, etc.; barely any difference other than a very mild reduction in body fat although he was already around the sub-10% body fat mark. His health markers also improved, although they were already very good.

This whole, ZOMG Rabbit Starvationz thinking is warped, and in some cases, more so than the vegan camp. The vegetarian-crowd actually makes a more credible case for methionine restriction with regards to ageing, despite being taken to absurd extremes. On the other hand, this latest protein scare in the paleo sector is just fucking baffling; let's chase the long lost ghost of the rabbit starved when it is nigh impossible to down over 400 grams of protein from any whole food source. It's amazing how some people read a few studies and then assume that we're all consuming a bloody lab-number diet of highly concentrated and isolated nutrients. Even lean forms of protein come with some basic and benign balance of fat. But o teh proteinz chocolate cakez and PUFAz! *SMFH*

Nigel Kinbrum said...

IIRC, rabbit starvation happened in Winter, when food energy intake requirement was high (>3,000kcals/day), equating to >700g/day of P. The daily P limits came from a study by Rudman et al 1973

Some bodybuilders experienced hyperammoniaemia (according to, as they swallowed humongous amounts of ultra-low-fat protein each day.

Kade Storm A.K.A. Hedonist said...

Thanks for the link.

And therein lies the point: very obscure and rare situations that are practically impossible to duplicate even under extreme protocols in a paleo or real-food/whole-food context.