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September 02, 2014

National Institute of Health Study: Yes, a Low-Carb Diet Is More Effective At Weight Control, And Also Results in Fewer Cardiac Risks

One day there will be a book written about this all -- how a "Consensus of Experts" decided, against all previous wisdom and with virtually no evidence whatsoever, that Fat Makes You Fat and you can Eat All the Carbohydrates You Like Because Carbohydrates Are Healthy.

This never made a lick of sense to me, even before I heard of the Atkins diet.

Sugar is a carbohydrate. Indeed, it's the carbohydrate, the one that makes up the others (such as starches, which are just long lines of sugar molecules arranged into sheets and folded over each other).

How the hell could it possibly be that Fat was Forbidden but SUGAR was Sacred?

It made no sense. A long time ago I tried to get a nutritionist to explain this to me. "Eat more fruit," the nutritionist said.

"Fruit," I answered, "is sugar in a ball."

But the nutritionist had an answer. "That is fruit sugar," the she told me.

"Fruit sugar," I responded, "is yet sugar."

"But it's not cane sugar."

"I don't think the body really cares much about which particular plant the sugar comes from."

"Sugar from a fruit," the nutritionist now gambited, "is more natural than processed sugar."

"They're both natural, you know. We don't synthesize sucrose in a lab. There are no beakers involved."

"Well, you burn fruit sugar up quicker, so it actually gives you energy, instead of turning into fat!"

"Both sugars are converted into glycogen in the body. There can be no difference in how they produce 'energy' in the body because both wind up as glycogen. I have no idea where you're getting any of this. It sounds like you're making it all up as you go."

"This is Science," the nutritionist closed the argument.

Eh. It's all nonsense. Even cane sugar contains, yes, fructose, or fruit sugar, and fruits contain sucrose, or cane sugar.

It's just that fruits contain something like 60% fructose to 40% sucrose, and cane sugar contains them in the opposite proportions. (I'm just sorta guestimating here, guys.)

Again, I don't see how sugar is rendered Magically Healthy simply because it comes from an orange rather than a cane.

The Science Was Settled on this point, however. A Consensus of Experts agreed.

The Government pushed this Consensus of Experts on the country, and food makers eagerly began taking fat out of their products, because Fat is Bad, and replaced that Fat (you have to replace it with something) with Healthy, Muscle-Building, Figure-Keeping Sugar.

And then we all got really, really fat.

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

The findings are unlikely to be the final salvo in what has been a long and often contentious debate about what foods are best to eat for weight loss and overall health. The notion that dietary fat is harmful, particularly saturated fat, arose decades ago from comparisons of disease rates among large national populations.

But more recent clinical studies in which individuals and their diets were assessed over time have produced a more complex picture. Some have provided strong evidence that people can sharply reduce their heart disease risk by eating fewer carbohydrates and more dietary fat, with the exception of trans fats. The new findings suggest that this strategy more effectively reduces body fat and also lowers overall weight.

...


Many nutritionists and health authorities have "actively advised against" low-carbohydrate diets, said the lead author of the new study, Dr. Lydia A. Bazzano of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "It's been thought that your saturated fat is, of course, going to increase, and then your cholesterol is going to go up," she said. "And then bad things will happen in general."

By the end of the yearlong trial, people in the low-carbohydrate group had lost about eight pounds more on average than those in the low-fat group. They had significantly greater reductions in body fat than the low-fat group, and improvements in lean muscle mass -- even though neither group changed their levels of physical activity.

While the low-fat group did lose weight, they appeared to lose more muscle than fat.

Hopefully we'll see another Atkins Craze so people start making low-carb snacks again.

By the way, speaking of low-carb products-- did you Low-Carbers enjoy Dreamfields pasta? Did you ever think, "There's no way this can be 'low-carb,' it's so good, it's just like regular pasta!!!"?

Well, if you did: you were right.


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posted by Ace at 03:09 PM

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