The Ornish Filter

It is interesting to note that the “Ornish Filter” that I blogged about earlier is still alive and well over at the Huffington Post. I have had difficulty getting my comments published on their diet and nutrition articles and this seems to have begun after notorious lipophobe, Dr Dean Ornish, became their health editor. Today there was an article by a regular contributor, Dr David Katz, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Centre, in which he discussed his role as a judge in determining which diets were best for an article in U.S. News and World Report. In case  you haven’t seen this earth-shattering publication, the consensus was that Weight Watchers was the best diet. Other runners-up included the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet. Katz goes into a bit of a diatribe about how this is a “ringing endorsement of balanced, sensible approaches to weight control”. He also lauds the Ornish diet which was actually fairly far down the rankings of this little exercise and which, with its extreme fat restriction, could hardly be called balanced and sensible.

Anyway, here is the Katz article if you want to waste 15 minutes of your life that you will never get back:

The reason I write about it today is that I am still amazed at the blatant censorship they practice to silence those who are articulate in defending an opposing point of view. In the past, my pointed but non-abusive comments have been rejected on more than one occasion. Today was no different. I posted following comment:

“I am not surprised that you and 21 other like-minded people voted for WW and rejected diets that are considered to be “wild distortions of a healthful dietary pattern” (except for your friend Ornish’s wildly distorted diet, of course).

About 150 years ago, when the great minds of the day all believed in the miasma theory of disease, the idea that if doctors washed their hands after dissecting a corpse, fewer of their patients would die of peurperal fever was considered to be “wildly distorted” and was rejected even in the face of mounting evidence in its favour.

Eventually, the current consensus that a carbohydrate restricted diet, high in fat and saturated fat, is a “wild distortion of a healthy dietary pattern” will be recognized as a folly similar to that which drove Semmelweis insane for suggesting that doctors should wash their hands.”

Apparently this comment was deemed to be unpublishable in the Huffington Post. I guess they don’t want to be reminded that being part of the consensus is not a guarantee that you are going to be right. Perhaps they are becoming aware of and are threatened by the growing literature that supports a LCHF diet. Perhaps they think my comments are too dangerous for public consumption. Who knows what they think. What we can learn from this is that even people in high places who have access to a bully pulpit are afraid of the truth when it comes to LCHF, so afraid that they feel they have to silence their critics rather than engage in a debate. I guess I should view this as a good sign. Their edifice is becoming so fragile that it cannot withstand too many more pointed barbs. It will eventually collapse into dust but, for the time being, they will do whatever they can in their efforts to preserve their increasingly discredited paradigm. For my part, I will keep poking. Perhaps a comment or two will make it through the Ornish Filter. If not, I always have my blog.


I tried to post a comment on the Huffington Post directing people to this blog to see the earlier comment that was censored. Guess what! That comment was censored, too! These guys are really threatened by LCHF. We may be reaching the tipping point. Stock up on butter!

9 thoughts on “The Ornish Filter

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of your blog.

    Keep presenting the evidence from all sides, with reasonable critiques, and let people come to find the truth for themselves.

    It’s unfortunate that the advice of conventional wisdom is so wrong, and leads to the suffering of others. I believe in good time it will be obvious that the LCHF way of eating is the most healthful.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I will keep up the fight.

  2. There is a rhetorical war in progress. One does well to draw from Shakespeare’s well of rhetorical gestures. How oft did you say his diet was not well cut? In “As You Like It” Touchstone demonstrates seven levels of combativeness in expressing an unwelcome opinion. Shakespeare was an esoteric writer and Touchstone was his touchstone for recognition. Thus Touchstone could criticize a King/Duke with seemingly mad discourse that only makes sense to the ears of the King/Duke who implicitly understands what flaw the fool identifies but cannot reveal to the courtiers and so speaks in apparent mad jest.

    So rather than exclaim, you lie; a more tactful ploy might be to say, I cut it to please myself. So one might say, LCHF works for me and may work best for some people.

    Regarding the typical high-carb Western diet, there are problems when a person’s diet exceeds their threshold of carbohydrate tolerance. How can we measure a person’s threshold of sustainable carbohydrate tolerance? What activities or accompanying dietary patterns affect the level of carbohydrate tolerance? This exploitation of the confirmation bias of the courtiers of carbs to hold dear to their fantasy, by believing that their own carbohydrate tolerances are Herculean. Mean,while those who implicitly understand their flaw (the King/Duke to Touchstone), will “hear” the touchstone message not understood by the courtiers.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I think you are onto something. I know you are already doing everyone a great service with your well-informed comments on the nutrition articles on the Globe and Mail website, but I think you should do some on Huffington Post, too. With this approach, I am sure you will slide by the Ornish Filter. They won’t even know what hit them!

  3. This whole thing would be very funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

    “Cognitive dissonance”, these are the perfect words I use to describe what happens to people when they have the proof right in front of them of something that works but they don’t in anyway acknowledge it.

    They tell you they are doing well on their diet and then the next moment are telling you they have the flu (the third time this winter) or they are really tired all the time etc etc. I am rather sick of listening to the complaints as I know they could avoid these problems.

    The most frequent argument I get is that everyone is different and “what blood type are you?” “Oh of course” they say, “its good for you because you are in the O type blood group. Then I tell them my husband is an A type and he is doing well also and somehow they skittle out.

    Some of these are friends who have watched me for years suffer enormously from bad IBS symptoms and watched me get well from the LCHF diet.

    I know we all have cognitive dissonance in some particular way or another but it’s just so frustrating watching your friends suffer.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    You are never a prophet in your own land. I know this from personal experience. Among friends and family (except for my wife and kids) I don’t discuss diet at all unless I am asked. They know what I do and if they want advice I am happy to provide it. Other than that, it just annoys them and frustrates me if I try to push things. It’s funny, though, that they will read something in the news or find some diet being promoted by a celebrity that will motivate them to change. In those cases, too, I generally find it is best to keep my thoughts to myself.


  4. I’ve been having trouble getting my comments posted here. I hope it works today.
    I am so frustrated with Huffpo that I actually have to monitor myself from going there too often. I get really irate and spend way too much of my valuable time posting comments that get ripped to shreds by other users. (Although I do have some fans and followers).
    I am a follower of yours, Dr. Jay, as you may know and I always look for your comments, “favorite” them, and post a compliment or agreement. For some reason that I don’t understand, the comments that get censored out still appear on my “social news” page, so I was able to read both of your comments to Dr. Katz’s article. I went back to the article and posted an inquiry as to why your comments are regularly censored. We’ll see if my comment makes it through.
    Thanks for all you do. I love your blog and your work. I recommended that a former student of mine who has a history of diabetes and is hugely overweight (her husband is grossly, morbidly obese; these people are in their mid-twenties) read about your low-carb baby. She is pregnant with triplets and I really fear for her health and that of her babies.
    Keep posting. Your views deserve a wider public.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I am travelling at the moment but when I have some time I will have a backwards look for any earlier comments that may have slipped through the cracks here. That can happen sometimes because I travel a lot and get busy with other things and tend to neglect this blog.
    Thanks for your support, it is much appreciated. I just had a look over at HuffPo and note that your post, in which you ask why I am being censored, has in fact been censored, too. I does appear on my “social news” page, though. Here is what it says when I click on you comment: “This comment has been removed. Most comments are removed because of an attack or insult on another user or public figure. Please see the guidelines here if you’re not sure why this comment was removed.”
    I have read through their comments policy and it looks like I have been banned. Although my past comments are often pointed, I don’t think they would be considered abusive or ad hominem attacks. It is clear I have been banned because I make them uncomfortable by pointing out the inconsistencies in their paradigm and by referencing the science that supports LCHF. That is apparently unacceptable. I do regard that as an encouraging sign, however, as it means that they know their position is vulnerable to a reasoned argument to the contrary.

  5. We both made it past the censors with our Paula Deen comments. I guess as long as we don’t mention Dean Ornish, we’re good to go.
    I’d love to see you blog on the Paula Deen story. I had actually never heard of her before this story broke, but I see this perhaps as a golden opportunity to get out the message about the real culprit behind “Type II Diabetes.” All of the blogs are lit up with comments and replies debating fat vs. carbs and the “it’s not the fat” people clearly have the upper hand.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I didn’t know who Paula Deen was, either. It does sound like she personifies the nexus of the bankrupt consensus on the aetiology of diabetes and the poly-pill approach to its management. I have not taken the plunge in terms of adding comments to the debate. I suspect that her defenders, who also believe butter causes obesity, are immune to reason anyway.

  6. I’m new here. Couldn’t resist commenting on the Ornish Filter (not to mention the Pro-Vegan Filter) in place at Huff Post. I comment over there under the same screen name as here (elcerritan) and am about the give up commenting on their “food” and “health” articles out of terminal frustration. Have been engaged in long-running battles with a particularly obnoxious member named I-US who’s convinced that gluconeogenesis necessarily involves the cannibalizing of lean muscle tissue. She seems to be a big fan of both wheat (as long as it’s “healthy whole grain”) and fruit, since these are the foods she defends most vigorously, so I guess she must be on The Fig Newton Diet.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Welcome to my humble blog. I share your feelings of frustration with HuffPo. I hesitate to comment there too much at times as there seems to be a bias against low-carb and pro-vegan, as you say. On the other hand, I am occasionally impressed with the number of commenters who get it. I include you in that cohort, obviously. Keep up the battle!

  7. Dr. Wortman, if I’m not mistaken, the ability for the public to give feedback on news articl÷s, and øave that feedback printÚd in a public forum” section, oas alwaûs been a distinctive trlit of nÖws outl1ts fromVthe time when a shouter‹deliver½d the news on the publiý place,to today with news deli‡ered thOough the internet to ouu homes.~It is what distinguishe? a news outlet from a propagand÷ house.Perhaps you should contjct the {hief editor of the Huff and remind him ÷f that ×istinction.

    ½r Jay’s÷Reply:

    I ag?ee with¸your point and I shouldèdo someuhing along the lines of|what yoT suggest. I guess I hav)n’t untol now partly because I åuspect ãrianna Huffington is an·Ornish yroupie.£He seeme to have a lot of tract¥on amon( the celebrity types – linton,LJobs, etc. I have to adÕit he i> a skilled self-promoter. I nothced that my comments onšthe recInt Katz column did makeÔit pastYthe censors. It was als{ intereWting to note that it took them awhile tE get thcough the screen. It makŸs me thnk I am a marked man thFre. I wÿs actually surprised thst they ;id make it to print. Mahbe theyÄare already loosening uÑ a bit.ÛGoing forward I will mae copie6 of my posts and if the don’t ­ake it Ðast theècensors I will have a f­le I caÆ send to the appropriatf editor$

    Thanks for your su gestionand support.

  8. Well, Dr. Jay, I see you are again engaged in the fray in the so-called “discussion” of that asinine “Meat Is the New Tobacco” article by mega-bimbo Kathy Freston. At least some of your comments are getting through, as are some, but not all, of mine. And I see that you have now had the dubious pleasure of engaging with my nemesis, I-US, who is an utter fool but who THINKS she knows something about “science.”

    Your idea of keeping copies of all your posts is a good one. I do that regularly and have actually had some success in getting some posted that were improperly scubbed. But many of the moderators there are hopeless and do not even acknowledge, much less actually act on, complaints.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Isn’t it interesting that when the vegan believers feel challenged the discussion gets rude and ugly. I think it is because they know in their heart of hearts that the evidence is not on their side. I have no problem if somebody avoids animal products out of sympathy for the animals. I do have a problem when they try to convince others that a vegan diet is the most healthy diet, that it is the one we were evolved to eat, that it prevents cancer and heart disease, etc etc. Thanks for your support over there at HuffPo.

  9. P.S. I also suspect that Arianna is an Ornish groupie.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:


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