80-10-10 Diet by Dr. Graham and Acne

by Seppo on August 19, 2011

Every now and then I get emails from people asking about a specific diet or health program and whether it can cure acne. This time a reader asked me about Dr. Graham’s 80/10/10 Diet. So let’s take a look at it and what, if any, it can do for your skin.

If you’ve been with me for some time you might remember that I used to be into 80/10/10 diet and it influenced the earlier versions of Clear for Life.


Who, What, Where

But first a brief overview of who Dr. Graham is and what his 80/10/10 Diet is all about. Dr. Douglas Graham is a chiropractic doctor and, I think, also natural hygiene doctor. Both of these disciplines are based on ancient ideas of vitalism and have been thoroughly bunked by science.

The 80/10/10 Diet is based on the idea that caloric ratio of 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat and 10% protein is optimal for humans. And everything you eat should be raw. So basically you eat tons and tons of raw fruits and vegetables and little bit of nuts and seeds. That, according to Dr. Graham is the elixir of health and longevity.

In all fairness I should point out that 80/10/10 Diet is much more than just a diet book. Dr. Graham also talks about the importance of exercise, emotional poise, sleep and other lifestyle areas.

In this post I’m going to focus on the diet portion of the book. Because that’s where I see the most glaring errors are. The other parts of the book are actually pretty good, if a tad extreme.


Fat, the evil nutrient that makes you sick?

80/10/10 is the perfect recipe for breeding fat-phobic people. That’s because Dr. Graham comes down hard on fat. According to him consuming more than 10% of your calories from fat leads to rapid decline of health.

I junked my copy of 80/10/10 already so I can’t check all the reasons Dr. Graham says fat is bad. But the main idea is that eating too much fat messes up your blood sugar levels. Dr. Graham claims that fat prevents insulin from taking sugar from bloodstream into cells.

As a result your blood sugar levels remain high and the pancreas has to pump more insulin to bring them down. Over time this leads to negative spiral where your blood sugar and insulin levels get steadily higher. This is a condition known as metabolic syndrome. Excessively high blood sugar and insulin levels can also increase inflammation, and this deadly cocktail is behind many of the major killer diseases of the Western world.

High insulin and blood sugar levels are also linked to acne. High insulin levels cause the skin glands to produce more sebum and block your pores.

So obviously high insulin and blood sugar levels are bad. But can you fix those by dropping fat and eating as much fruit as you want?

Well, like all good quackery there’s a grain of truth behind what Dr. Graham preaches. It’s a well-known medical fact that too much fat does lead to insulin resistance. However the maximum of 10% of calories from fat that Dr. Graham proposes is absurd. I have looked far and wide of the medical literature and I haven’t been able to find a single study to back that up. Not a single study that says that eating more than 10% of fat causes problems.

Dr. Graham justifies this claim by using the vegan/low-fat echo chamber. Basically it goes like this. Dr. YY treats his patients with low fat approach and he has cured many people. And so does this institute. Therefore this claim must be right. Among this echo chamber is Dr. McDougall, Dr. Fuhrman, Hippocrates Health Institute and so on. And even most of these docs don’t agree with the 10% of calories from fat claim.

How much fat?

So how much fat can you eat before developing insulin resistance? As always is the case medicine and health are complex issues, and they just can’t be diluted to simple 10% claims. How much fat you can eat depends on the kind of fat you eat.

The best study so far I’ve found is the Kanwu study, also here. This study showed that people who eat more saturated fat are more insulin resistant than those who eat more unsaturated fats. But this beneficial effect disappeared when fat consumption went above 37% of total calories. Note that the 37% is average of all people and there will be individual variation in this.

There are also countless studies that show that substituting saturated fat for unsaturated fat reverses this fat induced insulin resistance.

So in the end we are left with no credible evidence backing Dr. Graham’s claim that eating more than 10% of calories from fat is harmful. Note that he makes no distinction between different types of fat. From his book I got the impression that fat is fat is fat – and it’s all bad.


Dangers of too much sugar

This is where Dr. Graham rides his dogma fueled pony off the cliff of science and reason.  He makes no mention that eating too many carbohydrates causes the exact problems he blames fat for.

The simple explanation is that eat too many carbohydrates also causes insulin resistance. This process is known as lipogenesis. Again we can’t say exactly how much is too many, but 50% to 60% of total calories is the most I would recommend. Excess carbs are converted by the liver into triglycerides (TG), a form of saturated fat. It’s been shown time and time again that too high triglyceride levels lead to insulin resistance. In a nutshell too many carbs are exactly the same as too much fat.

Out of all the sugars fructose looks to be the worst in this. Many studies have linked excessive fructose consumption with insulin resistance. Gorging on unlimited amount of fruit overloads the body with fructose, and this can lead to serious consequences for some people. Others seem to have no problems with it.


My 80/10/10 story

As I mentioned in the beginning I used to be into raw foods and 80/10/10 lifestyle. I wasn’t perfect with it, but I can honestly say I did it 85% seriously. I wasn’t religious about keeping my fat intake below 10% of calories but I can say it was below 15%.

For the first year I was doing well. My energy levels went up and I felt somewhat happier. My skin got somewhat better, but it never cleared completely. During this time I was also exercising a lot. Mostly running 45 to 90 minutes 4 times a week. I also did some bodyweight exercises.

However 15 months down-the-line things started to get worse. First I noticed persistent lack of energy. It got to a point where I was sleeping 11 to 12 hours a day and still feeling tired. I also developed severe joint pains. It got to a point where I had severe pain in my ankle, knee, shoulder and jaw joints.

First I chucked these as effects of detoxification and old injuries healing. However after 3 months I started suspecting something’s wrong. Dr. Graham helpfully blamed it all on me and said why I don’t do the program 100%. He also said that my joint pains were due to withdrawal effects from meat.

Anyway, I still wasn’t willing to consider that there’s something wrong with this dietary dogma. After all it felt so logical and made sense. I bought a blood sugar monitor to prove that eating a lot of fruit doesn’t’ cause blood sugar problems.

That’s when I got the rude awakening.

I was shocked to discover that my blood sugar readings almost touched diabetic levels.  After that I got off the crazy diet and started eating more balanced meals. Within a month or two my joint pains disappeared and I started feeling alive again.



Dr. Graham’s 80/10/10 Diet is one of the crazier diets out there in the already crazy world of wacky diet books. It’s basically the invention of one well-meaning person, Dr. Graham, with zero credible evidence behind it (at least I haven’t been able to find any).

The way Dr. Graham tells the story of this diet it all makes sense and feels so right. Unfortunately in this case intuition and good feelings can leads to serious trouble later on. The diet itself is based on flawed premise (that fat is the cause of most health problems). And this premise is contradicted by actual research. There’s good evidence to show that excessive consumption of carbohydrates, and especially fructose, leads to insulin resistance. This then can make your acne worse.

Keeping all this in mind I wouldn’t recommend the 80/10/10 Diet for treatment of acne. In my opinion you are much better off with more balanced and sensible approach. Though, the other sections of the book can be helpful for acne patients.

I know fully well that some people do well with the 80/10/10 approach and Dr. Graham’s website is armed with countless testimonials. But just keep in mind that we are individuals. So even if the diet does work for somebody it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Not to mention that many of the prominent success stories are very active athletes. Because they exercise much more than normal people they can get away with eating more carbohydrates.

If you are into Dr. Graham’s particular brand of raw food ideology, I also suggest you check out these two articles:


Did you like this? Then you will also love these products:

Clear for Life: Lifestyle for Health, Happiness and Clear Skin

Clear for Life Meditations: Melt Away the Stress of Acne and Finally Be Free

Emotional Healing for Clear Skin: Simple system for healing the emotional pain acne causes

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

durianrider August 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hey Seppo, you should do something 100% vs 85% if you want the proper results bro!

Thats like me tying my laces 85% and when I trip, its the laces fault right? ;)

Seppo August 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

@durianrider, aaahhh.. the fan boys are here. To answer your question. No it doesn’t always make sense to do something 100%. If 85% hurts then it’s only stupid to go 100%. Say you hit your head on the wall with medium force and that hurts, you wouldn’t go and bang your head again with all you got, would you? Unless, of course, you are after ‘proper results’.

Raw Aussie Athlete October 25, 2011 at 1:58 am

@Seppo: Durianrider makes a good point. In doing something 85% of the time while poisoning yourself the other 15%, you’ll never experience what 100% has to offer.

Raw Aussie Athlete October 25, 2011 at 3:41 am

@Seppo, I’m not here to spam your article. I respect your experience and point of view. I do hope you can appreciate some of the following points:
- Your article provides no references (credible or otherwise) for any of the attacks on Dr. Graham’s work.
The internet is already plagued with false, sweeping statements without supporting evidence.
Journalism doesn’t provide you with a licence to avoid citing references to support your claims.
- You dismiss the entire discipline of Natural Hygiene (NH) as bunk by science.
You then go on to recognize the value of lifestyle factors, such as exercise, emotional poise and sleep.
It seems clear to me that you don’t understand what NH is (or that in dismissing NH you didn’t say what you meant).
NH is the science of human health.
Living hygienically is a conscious effort to provide the optimal conditions for the human body to work with, through diet, lifestyle and environment.
To call all of NH as bunk is absurd. NH recommends getting sufficient sleep. Is getting enough sleep bunk?
I suggest you stick to writing articles about topics you are knowledgeable in.
- Your explanation of 80/10/10 demonstrates that you have never understood, nor followed the 80/10/10 diet, even though you may have thought you were.
For optimal human health, the 80/10/10 diet recommends the caloric ratio of a “minimum” of 80% carbohydrates, a “maximum” of 10% protein and a “maximum” of 10% fat.
- On the 80/10/10 diet, you don’t eat “tons and tons” of raw fruits and vegetables and little bit of nuts and seeds as you claim, instead you eat “enough” fruits and vegetables to meet your caloric needs as you would on any other diet. You also eat “enough” volume to be satiated as per any other diet. You are demonstrating once again that you never read/understood the book nor experienced eating the 80/10/10 diet.
- “According to him consuming more than 10% of your calories from fat leads to rapid decline of health”
A reference here would be useful, because I’ve studied almost everything he has released and I’ve only heard him say that exceeding 10% of calories from fat is followed by health decline, not by “rapid decline of health”. As a hygienist, Dr. Graham acknowledges that the degree of health decline is determined by the degree to which the needs of the body are not met, as determined by the substances, forces, conditions and influences to which the body is subjected.
- “Note that he makes no distinction between different types of fat. From his book I got the impression that fat is fat is fat – and it’s all bad.”
Then I suggest you reread the book, because you overlooked a lot of the information.
Dr. Graham details all types of fat, including why we need them, and explains why the best dietary sources are raw fruits and vegetables. Dr. Graham recommends to avoid consuming:
– fats beyond our need (3%-10% of total calories is a healthy dietary range)
– damaged fats which may be rancid, heat damaged, light damaged, oxidized
– Trans Fatty Acids
– animal fats
- Dr. Graham doesn’t recommend “eating too many carbohydrates”, so there seems to be no point behind the paragraph mentioning lipogenesis.
Lipogenesis is simply the process of storing unused calories as fat.
Dr. Graham doesn’t recommend eating more calories than you use, unless you are underweight and intend to gain weight by putting on some additional fat.
- “In a nutshell too many carbs are exactly the same as too much fat.”
You started out trying to argue that going over “10% of calories from fat” isn’t excessive.
Now you are talking about too many carbs in terms of quantity of calories rather than caloronutrient ratio.
You’re comparing apples and oranges which adds to the confusion in your article.
- The studies against fructose are based on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) research. HFCS is featured in many processed, refined junk foods which are obviously unhealthy. To imply that the results of consuming HFCS will follow from consuming the fructose in fruit is absurd. There are no valid scientific studies indicating that; not one.
- “Gorging on unlimited amount of fruit overloads the body with fructose, and this can lead to serious consequences for some people.”
That is why people need to stop eating too much fat, then there is no blood sugar problem.
- “It’s basically the invention of one well-meaning person, Dr. Graham, with zero credible evidence behind it (at least I haven’t been able to find any).”
That’s partially because nature, instinct and common sense have been recklessly abandoned.
If you had the book, you would be able to read the section on comparative anatomy and species specific diet. Evidence doesn’t get much more credible or obvious than that.
- “The diet itself is based on flawed premise (that fat is the cause of most health problems)”
Wow. You really totally missed the point. There are so many nutrients and other factors that affect the health of the human body. Dr. Graham addresses them all in his educational materials. Fat is just one factor. From the tone of your article, it would seem clear that you are unlikely to re-read The 80/10/10 Diet, but if you ever do, you will have many edits to make on this article.
- It sounds like the lesson from your 80/10/10 experience was that following multiple diets at once doesn’t work.
- You conclusion should have been:
Following the 80/10/10 diet 100% along with the associated lifestyle recommendations will almost certainly eliminate your acne.
Acne is mostly a case of “garbage in, garbage out” though other lifestyle and environmental factors play a role.
From what I’ve seen, having been to countless 80/10/10 events around the world, everyone that eats 100% 80/10/10 for over 6-12 months has clear skin.

Luke Sartor October 25, 2011 at 6:12 am

I love that you are in favor of supplying conditions to the body that don’t result in acne, Seppo. But, here’s the crux: the conditions and substances supplied to the body that cause overall health are the same conditions and substances that cause clear, healthy skin.
The presence of acne may be an allergic response of some kind, or the acne may be due to chemicals applied to certain foods (such as fruits and veg), rather than being due to the foods themselves.
I experienced facial acne during the first few months of my applying 811 100%. But I simply kept with it, ever improving in all the other lifestyle factors as well, and my skin became much clearer. I’ve been applying 811 for four years now, with no slip ups, and I’ve never experienced such great skin as I do now.
What Grant says can’t be thrown aside. Further, what Dr. Graham states within the 80/10/10 Diet book can’t be thrown aside either. Your article amused me, if not for the lack of clarity in the statements you make, then simply for the absurdity of the article. I agree with Grant; your blog post here indicates a deep lack of understanding of the concepts of Natural Hygiene, 811, and healthful living. I hope you can be willing to preserve our responses to your article on this site, because it would be suspicious if you did not.
Throwing away your copy of The 80/10/10 Diet has left your garbage bin better educated than you, Seppo. The facts are within the book for you to see. Having been written over several years, with countless hours of research put into it, the book isn’t merely a bubble of the imagination.
Whether an individual is very active, or relatively inactive, the species-specific diet is one in which whole, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables predominate, and where the caloronutrient ratio comes out as 80+/10-/10- (carb/protein/fat). I can’t get to my desired destination if I only travel 85% of the way. Applying 811 fully allows you to experience the full benefits.
Many people who say they are consuming a low-fat diet are really consuming a relatively high-fat diet. Supplying some sample menus of your eating within each day when you tried to apply 811 “85%” may offer us some valuable insights, Seppo. Showing this would let us calculate what your cnr really was and how many calories overall you were consuming. Consuming insufficient simple carbohydrates from fresh, raw fruit is the most common pitfall people get into when they begin to apply 80/10/10. By consuming even 15% of your calories as fat, you automatically reduce the amount of carbohydrates you can consume down to less than 80% of total calories (because protein contributes at least 5% of total calories on virtually any diet). Consuming less than 80% of your total calories in the form of carbohydrates can result in lethargy and weakness. With no information about the specifics of your diet when you tried to apply 811, and with no info about the remainder of your lifestyle, as well as about your health history, it is not possible for us to pinpoint the causes of your problems with any certainty. Fill out a consult form through the FoodnSport website and Dr. Graham would most likely help you to understand what the causes of your poor results were when you tried 811. Until these causes are known for certain, I wouldn’t go and tell the world that 80/10/10 didn’t work. I believe doing so is quite rash of you and may mislead people who would benefit tremendously from applying 811. Saying that 811 doesn’t work is irresponsible and even dangerous. Saying 811 doesn’t work goes contrary to what thousands of people have experienced, and what our anatomy and physiology have set us up to consume.

gary October 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

the focus on fat is not necessary. a simple description of a proper diet is raw, fresh, tasty, whole foods one at a time.

i wonder how anyone can debate that.

and it’s consistent with what dr graham recommends.

the only reason he wrote a book focusing on max fat levels is to counteract other dietary regimen fallacies that were causing many people to fail, and by changing to 811 those people succeeded.

fat is not the only reason those people failed although it is sometimes portrayed that way.

heidi jane October 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I disagree as after I eliminated all animal products from my diet and grains and all cooked vegan processed foods as well as all overt fats 100%, I had nothin but much much more improvements in all aspects of my health as well as clearer skin, i’m not 100% perfecto in all yet, maybe one day… :), but a whole lotta better off from eating and living 811rv and am veryest muchly grateful and thankful we were brought together from the higher sources of the universe :)

Barbara October 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I can just say, as a former acne-sufferer who was told there was “no cure” except hormonal or a terrible drug based on vit A,
cause my case was “the worst case”

i now have GREAT soft smooth beautiful spotless skin and
i’ve been on a 5% fat vegan diet (not all raw) for 2 years now.

Also, my sugar levels in hte blood have never tested lower than this and i eat up to 85% of my calories from fruit daily :)

and I LOVE IT !!!!!!

PS On top of my acne, everything else improved too. Everything :)
And i got sweeter too… sounds like you could use more fruit bitter one :)

cheer up and leave good people like Dr Graham alone.
he’s helping get a better world, without animals being killed and with more fruit trees being planted,
what else do YOU want for your children’s planet???

arpit patel October 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm

this is stupid article written with ignorance….811 rocks!!!!

Chris T October 26, 2011 at 7:02 am

Luke’s comments are, as always, very astute.

The article itself reads like an English 101 assignment.

The author, Seppo, wrote, “I have looked far and wide of the medical literature and I haven’t been able to find a single study to back that up. Not a single study that says that eating more than 10% of fat causes problems.”

Perhaps he only looked over 85% of the literature.

I don’t understand, “I wasn’t perfect with it, but I can honestly say I did it 85% seriously.”

What does the 15% refer to? Consumption of animal products, grains, cooked foods, excitotoxins, alcohol or drugs?

And though the author acknowledges that 811rv is not just about food, he decides to focus on just the diet. This is akin to eating just part of the food (e.g. the juice without the fiber). 811rv doesn’t work that way.

All told I thought the article didn’t include any original thought or evidence. As such, it was a waste of time.


Lena Buhr October 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

Hi everyone ♥ without being disrespectful for any person following any particular diet, I feel obliged to ask a question related to these raw food diets etc. I have noticed that among the male fruitarians etc they seem to become very ‘feminine’ – their gestures/hands are different – I know not enough english to explaine this but if you watch Ann Osborne for example, her gestures while speaking are some what odd. I’ve seen this with McDonnell, Rothkranz, Kulvinskas. Also that their energy/eyes seems to fade after years on raw – is this a common problem? Have you heard/noticed this before? I am anxious since I am trying to find a diet that will keep me healthy at all times for the rest of my life…I’ve tried raw, living foods but ended up bingeing, tried the 80/10/10 and ended up with stomach/chest pain after a meal of 10-15 bananas etc. What to do?

Love & Peace, Lena ♥

JackFruitFighter October 26, 2011 at 7:56 am

Terrible article.

I’ll give you some help with your research on fat % and health.

Look up research and articles by these guys:
Dr McDougall MD;
Dr Esselstyn MD;
Dr Ornish MD;
Dr Barnard MD;
Dr Klaper MD;
Jeff Novick RD.

Sheldon October 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

Sounds like you failed, and are shifting the blame.
You try to sound like you’ve done your research, but it’s painfully obvious that you speak from a very ignorant point of view.
I hope you can find a way of eating and living that brings you better health and happiness!

Maite Ikaran October 26, 2011 at 8:22 am

The problems you mention with High Carb must be a consequence of not maintaining low fat.

I appreciate having all kinds of feedback on this system, but I think the net is LOADED of positive testimonials about it, including acne & skin health in general.

If you want convincing results, you must keep the measures tight & right. Staying half-way will only lead to half-way results.

Andrey October 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

@Seppo my friend get the responsibility for your life and your health. This article sounds like a big excuse and blame towards the world. Look at yourself be honest accept the truth and enjoy your limitless time here in this beautiful place. What better of whole, fresh,raw, ripe, organic, juice, sweet plant foods. Awareness is needed not knowledge:)).

jc October 26, 2011 at 11:35 am

Well, I know MY acne disappeared on 801010, and I have seen other major health improvements as well. So…I’m satisfied.

gup October 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

Try going 85% when you are going to work, shopping, taking kids to school, going to a different city, state, country and check the results, then sit down to write and equally ignorant article blaming the road system.

LadyLychee October 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Dear Seppo,

Define ‘but I can honestly say I did it 85% seriously’.

Did you eat 85% raw fruit and veg? Did you eat 100% raw fruit and veg 85% of the time? Did you eat 85% raw fruit and veg 85% of the time? How did the number 85% come about? From calories, from number of meals, from amount of food, from weight? Or it just an arbitrary number you plucked out of thin air to explain ‘almost, most of the time, thereabouts’?

If you can’t be sure of your nutrient ratio, how can you call it your ’811′ story?

You tried ‘(85%?)raw’ not ’811 raw’. Be fair. So, maybe you should critique the problems you had ATTEMPTING this lifestyle, instead of blaming the science that you clearly cannot refute.

The 811 crew are eager and more than willing to help beginners in need of advice, MANY MANY of them, for free over forums and emails. They just want people to succeed in being the best they can be.

Take care x

Papaya Lover October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Dear Seppo,

After years of eating a “balanced diet” my persistent acne still plagued me along with adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance, PCOS, and several other symptoms/disorders. The ONLY relief I have found is through an 80/10/10 lifestyle. This includes following the plan 100%. If I do not have proper diet, calories, sleep, sun, exercise, or meditation I do not feel right and my symptoms will return. I recommend you try 80/10/10 properly before critiquing it so harshly.

In Love,
Papaya Lover <3

Diana October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

The only thing this article proves is why 80/10/10 did not work for you. You were not ashamed to admit that you did not follow 100% (what does 85% really mean?) and you said that you did not keep your fat below 10%. In 80/10/10, 10% is assigned as a MAXIMUM amount of calories from fat that is allowed in the diet. Yes, at above 10% fat, consuming high amounts of carbohydrates are going to give you blood sugar issues. This is one of the central points Dr Graham addresses in the book. It’s no ones fault but your own if you decided to not take that part seriously and it was your own choice to put your health at risk by not following the guidelines correctly. You are correct in saying that this diet is not right for everyone, but that is only because not everyone is willing to so this 100%.

Victoria Arnstein October 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Seppo, I can see why you claim this didn’t work for you because you never did this 80-10-10 diet 100%. It is clear to me you didn’t do it because not only did you state it, but you said you didn’t work out as much as other people who have been on it 100%. Let me explain what I mean. If someone is on 80-10-10 100% their bodies actually beg them to to move more than the average person. I know when I follow 80-10-10 100% it is no where near 90% and the result is that my body simply needs to move. Call it blood sugar levels being high, call it what you will, but I see it as never feeling better. I thrive on 80-10-10. I love the way I feel. If I consume more than 10% of fat, my body feels tired and sluggish. I don’t want to exercise let alone get out of bed when I don’t do 80-10-10 /100%. Not sure about anyone else, but I see a difference when I do 80-10-10/ 100% and I feel amazing. The proof is in the fruit. The people who do this 100% can’t contain themselves with so much joy they are experiencing, it would be selfish to keep it all in and not tell the world about their secrets. They (myself included) make videos about it and shout it out from the roof tops..Not sure any other person on another lifestyle can say that. Other diets and lifestyles may provide short term weight loss and people need to sell their diets, but can they claim to feel amazing too? Can they claim that their performance levels and their health have skyrocketed to super human strengths??? I have never seen it till this day. If they have I have never met them in person and I never felt that way and I have tried just about every diet out there. The group may be small for 80-10-10 because people are not willing to give up their addictions to foods they love which don’t love them back and that is fine, but be honest here. I mean if you can’t do 80-10-10 100% by all means, just say so, but to knock it while we all know it works that is just a cop out. Telling the world that it doesn’t work, because you failed at it and because you are a writer is just so wrong. Admit that you can’t do something rather than bag people and put a diet that works so well down to the ground. It is one thing to do something and have substantial research made to back yourself up, but you really don’t even have that..I thought your testimony was fragmented and so was your article. There is a reason people do this diet and follow Dr. Douglas Graham and keep coming back. It is because it really does work if you work it! Try again and maybe you will come up with a better article. This just tells me you need to eat more fruit to satisfy your bitterness towards others. I know Dr. Douglas Graham well, and I did not just read his book and attend one lecture. I researched this information for years and my husband Michael Arnstein has gotten better and better with athletics over the years of doing this and he has also improved his mental capacity to focus and run a million dollar comapany. You really don’t have a leg to stand on with this article. You just didn’t try the lifestyle 100% to even know..This is like claiming you know what it is to be pregnant when you never ever got pregnant. That would be ridiculous, just like this article. Forgive me for being so harsh, but it was pretty much opened to the public and you kind of put yourself in a situation which will get some feedback. I say you owe Dr. Douglas Graham an apology and we would all like to see that in the next article we read from you.

Annette and Avery October 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Of course allopathic medicine is going to tell you all other healing modalities are quackery, follow the money! Traditional medicine had many forms up until the early 1900′s, when folks like Rockefeller and Carnegie gave huge sums of money to medical schools to control education and increase the profits of their pharmaceutical companies. So, you may wanna rethink that whole what is ‘science’ thing, it’s all about the money! As fruitarians ourselves, we don’t personally know Doug Graham, and haven’t read his book, but dude, you didn’t follow his program 100%, so you find Dr Graham at fault? Bad form mate! From what we have heard about the man, he has too much integrity to respond to this attack. Apparently, those who do know him and rightfully respond to your allegations, you vilify. Again, bad form mate. Sounds like you didn’t eat enough fruit, so you went looking for the wrong food choices. You were also experiencing a detox ‘healing crisis’, when the body is getting rid of the excess wastes, it comes out the sinuses, or with rashes, headaches, flu and cold, acne, joint pain, loose teeth, fatigue, and various other symptoms…all good things that need to happen to clean us up, but you couldn’t handle it and didn’t tuff it out until your body healed itself. Please don’t put your failure on others who have lived this way for decades and have amazing health to show for it. To Dr Graham, and all his ‘fans’ lol, we apologize on behalf of this person and the statements made here…we just became facebook friends with the good doctor, so if he would like to send us a free copy of his book, we will gladly receive it! hahaha Much love and fruit to you all! Bliss and blessings, Avery and Annette

Inga October 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Never felt better and had better skin . 80/10/10 rocks! Go bananas !!!

xrawveganx October 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

your lack of comprehension is absurd! Post a photo of yourself. I dare you. without calorie restriction there’s no way your as healthy as anyone on an 80/10/10 diet. You may also want to educate yourself on the different types of sugar. There is no way for fruit to induce diabetes. not possible. i dont have the time to go into detail and educate those attacking what they dont know. i think thats called ignorance. peace and hopefully you’ll figure it out one day.

Chris Kendall October 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Blessings Seppo :)
I feel and see your frustration and even anger in your article, hardly a clear place to come from in journalism in my thoughts. I almost didn’t write as the posts above have hit the nail on the head repeatedly, the multitude of study on fat levels in diet are hard to be ignored unless purposfully. The list above is more than adequate, siting the China Study would be a good call. I always find it amusing how many people subscribe to the “we are all so different” model, while there isnt this model in nature within the same species of animals. Bar none every single person I have met who has applied the 80/10/10 lifestyle 100% has found the hugest gains in their health and vitality in every way you can imagine. Being a full lifestyle change big issues and growth can come up, for some this growth is much harder to deal with than the physical changes. Building a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime commitment, one we can all grow in many areas with. After 7 1/2 years on 80/10/10 I can say it only gets better and better, Ive had 3 sets of blood tests, been tested by 2 physical therapists using their chosen tests including sensitivities and allergies and each and every one has said I exhibit the best results and highest levels of health they have ever seen in their careers.
80/10/10 is simply what nature provides in our ideal environment. It always amazes me as well when people consider bashing a 100% raw diet when there is zero doubt that we as a species have spent well over 95% up to 99+% of out time on the planet as 100% raw fooders, not to mention every living creature (except those we feed or scavenge) is 100% raw fooders.
Hope these comments open your eyes empowering you with knowledge and proper application.
peacelovenseasonalfruit ck

Kevin Rogers October 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Ditto on many of the above posts supporting 80/10/10.

I had pretty nasty acne most of my teenage and early adult life. Only to have it clear up and remain clear on 80/10/10.

This article flies in the face of my day-to-day experience and results.

Brad October 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Right on Chris

Chris Randall October 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I must say bro, I’ve been on the 80/10/10 diet 100% for over 15 months now and 100% low fat vegan over a year before that and I’ve lost 130 lbs., reversed my severe acne, high blood pressure, asthma, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder. I’ve literally never experienced such vibrant health and happiness and it feels incredible.

I used to have severe acne and took all the horrible drugs they prescribe (Accutane being the nastiest) but nothing worked until I gave up animal products and lowered the amount of fat in my diet. It just got better on 811.

I hope you’re inspired by the comments above and perhaps give it another shot. Expecting the water to boil when it’s only at 85 Celsius just isn’t going to cut it. You want that pot to bubble it’s gotta be 100 degrees C. man!

I wouldn’t be defending this lifestyle just because I was a “fanboy”. If it didn’t work I would be doing something else. I won’t sacrifice my health just for the sake of “being a part of a group”.

I wish you the best regardless of what path you choose Seppo, but I really hope you reconsider and do it 100% this time. I can guarantee you that if you work the program right you will get the results that everyone else shared here. :)

Chris Randall

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Well Ive been on the Wai diet which was high in fat and it cleared my skin up just as it promises. However I currently follow 80/10/10 and my skin cleared up too (changed to 80/10/10 because didn’t enjoy doing the Wai diet despite its benefits!). So to me it isn’t necessarily the fat causing a problem.

ana October 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

You just seem so angry……what’s up?

Ian October 27, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hi Seppo,

Hey, I’m very impressed that you tried the 80/10/10 diet. I think everyone should give it a try. Congratulations on that. I am sorry however that you did not get the results that so many others get.

You probably read all the advice on here. I hope you decide to do something recommended by these great people. Whatever you do, good luck.

Just one more thing, you mention that nobody has recommended a diet of 10% calories from fat (actually under 10% of cals from fat is what the 80/10/10 diet recommends). Without much trouble I found one link which clearly recommends a diet with 10% of cals from fat here. This is to reverse heart disease. Before you say things online you should check first.


Petr Cech October 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

Hi Seppo,

I understand why you feel bit angry and disappointed after failing on 801010 lifestyle. You are not the first and last one failing on some program. The reason why is usually, that we did not learn properly the program.

I have started on 801010 in 2003 and i had some hard times the first year or two. I have discussed it with Dr. Graham and worked on improving my lifestyle as whole. There was no 801010 book yet at that time, so it was maybe more of a challenge than it is now. I have experienced cravings, loosing weight rapidly, stomach ache, low blood suger, pain in joints, muscles, tiredness, teeth problems etc. I am sure many people would stop doing it and some of them also start blaming it for all the wrong reasons. I did not, because i did research on diets in many years and knew that fruits and vegs are the best foods for humans, i just had to get it right.

After the first two years of struggling and improving it got much better, then i removed all of my amalgam fillings and it resulted in better digestion and no more joint pains. Since then i have enjoyed eating fruits and yes, it actually gets better with every year, also i find new scientific evidence all the time suggesting fruit and vegs is the best for health, low fat high carb best for athletic performance and also feeling happy.

I am really sorry for anyone who has failed on the fruit diet, because it can change one’s life so much for the good. We are not different, but we have different conditioning, different pathologies and we also have different ways of interpreting the messages and doing things. It takes patience and perseverance to have succes in anything and doing it correctly is of course very important. When I was doing it 85%, i was not getting the best results, but there are many others who already wrote about this fact.

In the last years I was actually eating only fruits and some leafy greens without any nuts, seeds, avocado and other fatty fruits. Not because i have something against “good” fats ;) but because i simply feel better eating high water low fat fruits.

I respect anybody who does not feel like eating 801010 100%, because it may not be the easiest way of eating in every place in today’s world. But why do you criticize something you did not even try correctly and without some real evidence, why it should not work?

Maybe you don’t read comments anymore and are bitter of this diet, but if you somehow someday felt like trying it again and wanted to hear about personal experiences, you are welcome to send me an email.

Love and Fruit Blessings

Seppo October 28, 2011 at 5:44 am

Ouh… didn’t expect this post to get so much feedback (and fury). Thanks for all those posting nice (and not so nice) comments. Sorry about my late reply. I live in Bangkok, Thailand and if you’ve been following the news you’ll know that the situation here is a bit dire at the moment.

Anyway, let me answer some of the challenges you’ve raised.

First, some people complained that I talked only about the dietary portion of the book and that 80/10/10 is far more than just a diet book. That’s true. I said that in the post. I also said that the other portions of the book have pretty good advice, if a tad extreme in some cases.

I focused on the diet portion because that’s where I think Dr. Graham does most damage. And I chose to focus on the claim that fat causes insulin resistance because it’s the most relevant for acne (and because it’s the biggest error in the book).

If you notice I didn’t complain about his advice of eating lots of greens, which is excellent advice.

I’m not angry at Dr. Graham or his diet. I just don’t agree with it.

Also, I’m not angry at Dr. Graham. And if you read my post without getting angry you’ll see it’s fairly balanced. I did poke a bit of fun at Dr. Graham, but overall the post was respectful. I outlined what I think was wrong in Dr. Graham’s advice and why I don’t recommend it.

Blaming me for not going 100%

And let’s stop with the idiotic claims that you have to do it 100% to get any benefits. If you do something 85% you can expect to get some benefits. In case of the road system someone mentioned doing 85% would mean I’m 85% of the way to my destination. In terms of weight loss if I reduce calories to 85% of my target I can still expect to lose weight – just not as fast. Generally speaking small improvements in diet and lifestyle lead to small improvements in health. Nowhere is there a case where you have to go 100% to get ANY benefits.

And as I mentioned first I felt ok, but after 15 months things started going downhill. Having near diabetic blood sugar levels is not a consequence of detox. It’s a symptom of really bad blood sugar control – and certainly not something that would get better over time.

Evidence for detrimental effects of high carb diets

Now, let me get to the point where several commenters accuse me of being ignorant and just shooting my mouth on things I know nothing about.

So let’s look at the evidence then, shall we.

We can start with this excellent review study.

Carbohydrate-induced hypertriacylglycerolemia: historical perspective and review of biological mechanisms

The paper is quite long, so let me summarize it.

Low fat, high carbohydrate diets increase triglyceride (TG) levels in most people. Why TGs are important? Because they are a risk marker for heart disease. Also TGs are associated with insulin resistance. Higher TG levels in the blood usually mean more insulin resistance.

The effect depends a lot on the type of carbs you eat. Whole foods with lots of fiber have less of an effect than simple, liquid sugars do (not a big suprise there). The GI also plays a role. Basically complex carbs are better than simple ones.

According to this paper the effect may be temporary, i.e. the body takes some time to adjust to high carb diets. But it’s not in everyone. This transition can also take several months, and in some cases longer.

Furthermore there’s a lot of indivual variability here. Some people have more adverse effects to high carb diets compared to others. Those with metabolic syndrome or people who are overweight seem to me more in risk from high carb diets. This is especially relevant to acne patients since acne is to some degree linked to insulin resistance and it may be more prevalent in acne patients than those with clear skin.

Finally the paper concludes that currently evidence is mixed in regard to high carb, low fat diets increasing TG levels.

OK, so low fat, high carb diets may or may not be bad. For some people they are ok, but for others they are not. Note that in most studies this paper refers to fat content of diet was between 10 and 20% of total calories.

But nowhere in this paper I found a mention that any harm would come to the person from eating a bit more fat. Basically the conclusion was that dropping fat levels to very low levels (10 to 20% of calories) may or may not be bad, depending on the individual.

This paper on the British Journal of Nutrition came to similar conclusion than the previously mentioned paper.

Dietary carbohydrate’s effects on lipogenesis and the relationship of lipogenesis to blood insulin and glucose concentrations

Basically that high carb diet usually leads to increase in TG levels, but the effect is highly variable.

But I would like to draw a few quotes from the study to show interesting points. Such as this one:

A CHO-induced effect on fasting TAG has been established over the past four decades and it is now clear that the concentrations of both VLDL and chylomicrons are elevated in the fasting state. The effect of CHO feeding to increase TAG concentrations in the postprandial state is becoming more evident (Chen et al. 1995; Jeppesen et al. 1995). Current data suggest that the CHO-induced increase in fasting TAG sets the stage for higher concentrations following a meal. Over time, slower postprandial clearance of TAG-rich lipoproteins, VLDL and chylomicrons, leads to higher fasting TAG. Thus, against this higher load of TAG in the blood in the fasting state, further addition of TAG following absorption of a fatty meal leads to significantly higher postprandial TAG concentrations due to reduced clearance

According to that the effect of high carb diet might get worse over time.

Also consider this.

A completely different result was found by Hudgins et al. who fed healthy subjects high-CHO diets rich in mono- and disaccharides and consumption of these simple sugars was associated with significantly higher de novo lipogenesis (Hudgins et al. 2000). Aside from pointing out that this diet stimulated de novo lipogenesis, the reader is referred to that publication to appreciate the large variability among subjects in the magnitude of de novo lipogenesis.

As I mentioned before complex carbs cause fewer negative effects compared to simple sugars. That quite again illustrates this. But what are fruits made of? Simple sugars. They have no complex carbs. Sure, they have fiber, but as far as the body is concerned sugar is sugar. Fiber slows down the absorption of the sugars a bit, but high fruit diet is still a high sugar diet.

Other papers haven’t been this kind. For example this.

Introduction: Low-Saturated Fat, High-Carbohydrate Diets: Effects on Triglyceride and LDL Synthesis, the LDL Receptor, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

This symposium was borne out of the observation that low-fat, high-carbohydrate feeding is associated with an acute increase in plasma triglyceride concentrations. The observation was first made by Ahrens et al. (1) at the Rockefeller Institute in the late 1950s. Based primarily on long-term observational studies, it was believed that the effects of high-carbohydrate feeding diminish with long duration of exposure (2, 3). Current reviews indicate that this issue is unsettled (4).

However, recent studies from the Northwest Lipid Research Clinic (5) and data presented at this symposium indicate that the hypertriglyceridemic effect of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is sustained for at least a year and in subanalyses, for 2 years (6). That is, as long as the increased carbohydrate intake of the diet is sustained, the hypertriglyceridemic effect persists.

They also talked about very low fat diets, such as one that Dr. Graham advocates.

Our own studies are directed at the question of whether incrementally greater fat restriction as advocated by some authors (19-22) has a proportionally greater benefit in lipoprotein levels, weight reduction, and indices of carbohydrate metabolism. In a prospective, randomized, long-term, out-patient study in free-living subjects lasting up to 2 years, the data show that fat restriction below a fat intake of 25% and carbohydrate intake exceeding 60% in subjects with simple hypercholesterolemia are associated with no further reductions in LDL cholesterol but increases in plasma triglyceride levels and reductions in HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, progressive fat restriction was not associated with additional weight loss but was associated with an attenuation of the reductions in plasma glucose, insulin, and apoprotein B levels (5). These studies were not maintained long enough to ascertain cardiovascular disease outcome and were not nearly large enough to do so. Nonetheless, the congruity of these observations with the physiological studies of Dr. Hudgins, the observational epidemiology of Dr. Willet, and the similarity to Syndrome X suggest that extreme fat restriction per se, may be deleterious to cardiovascular health.

Here’s a study that compares moderate fat diet (33% of calories) to low fat diet (18% of calories). The fat is mostly monounsaturated. This is really useful because the benefitial effect of low fat diets might come from removal of saturated fat – rather than reducing fat content. As this study shows, moderate fat diet led to better blood fat profile.

Effects of moderate-fat (from monounsaturated fat) and low-fat weight-loss diets on the serum lipid profile in overweight and obese men and women

Similarly this study showed that moderate fat diet was better for insulin resistance than low fat diet.

Comparison of 3 ad libitum diets for weight-loss maintenance, risk of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes: a 6-mo randomized, controlled trial

I could go on and on piling these studies, but I think I have made my point.

The overall conclusion I draw from these studies is that low fat, high carb diet may or may not be detrimental to TG and insulin levels, depending on the individual. And that the evidence for very low fat diets (<15% of energy from fat) being benefitial is non-existent to very sparse.

Please show me the mountains of evidence and science I can’t refute

Now since you people talk about “science I can’t refute” and about “mountains of evidence that is impossible to ignore”, please put give me some evidence of this. Please show me some good studies (even one) to back up your claims. As I said I’ve spend endless hours browsing PubMed and reading medical studies and so far I haven’t found any.

But I’m willing to consider that fact that I’m wrong. I’m willing to change my mind when I see some evidence for your claims. And I’m not talking about the low fat “echo chamber”. I’m not interested to hear what Dr. Ornish or McDougal write. I can easily counter that with what the multitude of doctors recommending low carb diets write. We could play the “my doctor is better than your doctor” game, but that’s just a waste of time. I’m interested in seeing real, published research. High quality studies that show the beneficial effect of eating very low fat diets over eating moderate fat diets.

So my challenge to you is to show me this mountain of evidence. If you can’t do that then you are just blindly following Dr. Graham’s dietary dogma. And I say dogma because in that case it has no evidence to support it.

The vast majority of the world ignores Dr. Graham’s advice – and is just fine

How do you reconsile the fact that 99% (probably more) of the world’s population doesn’t follow your dietary advice. The vast majority of the people on this planet eat far more fat than 10% of their calories. Yet, most of these people are not diabetic. And they are not suffering from metabolic diseases.

It boggles my mind that you can just gloss over this colossal fact. So let me say it again. The vast majority of the people on this earth eat more than 10% of calories from fat and yet these people don’t suffer from the ill effects Dr. Graham says they should be suffering from. Evidence doesn’t get much more persuasive than that.

Ignorance about acne

The fact that some claim that acne is “mostly garbage in, garbage out” just shows those people don’t understand this condition. This totally ingores the genetic, hormonal and emotional components behind acne. Furthermore, it’s an insult to the countless people who contact me. These are people who in most cases are just as serious about their health as you people are. They’ve been to very strict diets, they exercise and live their lives just as healthy as most of you people do. And have been doing so in many cases for years. Yet, they suffer from acne.

It’s true that some poeple who do 80/10/10 get clear. But that doesn’t mean Dr. Graham’s premise would be correct. Acne can be caused by so many factors. Food allergies and sensitivities are a big factor in persistent cases. 80/10/10 eliminates most allergenic foods. So it makes sense that it would help some people.

Also, go to acne.org’s forums and you’ll see that FAR more people have gotten clear following paleo or low carb style diets than low fat diets.

Not that I think low carb diets are a good idea (they have their own problems), but in my experience they have helped more acne patients than low fat diets have.

Why do you have to insist that your dietary dogma is the right answer to everyone?

What I don’t understand is that why do you have to insist that your particular dietary dogma has to be the answer for everyone. Why can’t you appreciate the diversity in the human race? Why do you have such a difficulty in accepting the fact that your dietary/lifestyle regimen might not work for everybody. And that some people might actually do better with other ways of eating.

Arjen October 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I would just like to add that my experience with 80/10/10 and acne has been pretty much the same as Seppo, likewise experiencing extreme blood sugar levels…

I was on it for approx two years, some of the time 100%, other times, a little less.

I eventually experienced a severe drop in sexual libido, and felt quite lethargic, light headed, and at times oddly bad digestion. Also, my acne ranged from good to acceptable to worse, never really got to the point of healing I was hoping for.

And yep yep yep, I piled on the calories and greens.

Andrey October 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

@Seppo dude you are living in Thailand. Look around you:). Don’t you see fruits everywhere:))). A short story. two Irishmen are emigrating to New York the year is 1930. They get a train, a strange gentleman sits opposite to them . The peculiar character starts to take out some fruits from his bag PADDY pokes SEAN looking at one of the fruits. Paddy ‘Sir excuse me what is that yellow fruit near the apple’ THE INDIAN ‘ a that’s a BANANA’ PADY’ is it sweet’ INDIAN’ it is the best fruit out there’ PAddy can i try it?’ the Indian gives the banana to the Irishman. Paddy bites one, two three pieces from the banana, enjoying tremendously the taste of it. Suddenly the train enters a tunnel. SAUN’ what’s the taste ?’ PAddy (shouting) ‘the taste is amazing, but don’t eat it i got blind’ . @Seppo Cause is not Coincidence :))))))). Enjoy the paradise my frendo:))

Dan November 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm

The negative “side effects” of 80/10/10 can bee seen all over the forums and blogs which deal with the diet. My experiences were so bad, I almost ended up in the hospital after a year of doing it 100% with organic produce. You don’t see these same terrible problems when looking at people who are on the McDougall diet and they are often much older than 811ers and are far deeper into illness when they start. 811 creates good SHORT-TERM results and then most people have severe fallouts after their bodies survival system exhausts itself. “Tweaking” the diet shouldn’t be necessary if it’s so perfect, that’s a telltale sign that the diet does not work for most people and when it does, it’s temporary. Even the hero’s of 811 like durian rider or mike Arnstein are new to the diet. Major disease takes decades to develope, so perhaps we’ll see the real damage of 811 in 20 years or so, if people are still experimenting with their lives for that long.

Will Power November 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Great article funny thing how I started to research this diet again was as result of so much contact with these 801010 people which appear to be some of the more fanatical among us. I looked at 801010 for about 15 minutes in the book store one day and dismissed it as non factual more about this guy putting things together and trying to make a diet out of it. You have done an excellent job of capturing everything I have been finding in my research on the subject of 801010. So I am a fan of Dr. Jubb and find it hard to argue any of is serious points on diet and health. I would like to know have you looked at his Lifefood diet? Ways your take on that? Also his primary call is for everyone to cleans the gallbladder and the liver to restore digestive tract and nutritional health?

Seppo November 17, 2011 at 7:30 am

@Andrew, sure I see some fruits here, but I see chicken and rice far, far more often. Will enjoy the paradise despite this :)

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