Monday, April 30, 2007

Carb Controversy: Tackled From Both Sides.

Okay here we go...

Have you guys seen this 5 part series by Diabetes Health?

It is a joke...

Firstly, they start of with an article by Dr Barry Groves. He believes that it is carbs not fat that causes weight gain. Fat does not raise our blood sugars or insulin levels, but carbohydrates do. Insulin is a fat storing hormone shuttling excess carbohydrates and other calories straight to our fats cells. This is what makes us put on weight and what prevents us from losing it.

They then forward this theory on to two other doctors, one a low fat vegan and the other a low carb diabetic.

First reply is from the low fat vegan who also happens to be president of PCRM, Dr Neal D. Barnard.

His response, basically is that he believes that populations such as Asians who stick to a a typical rice based diet, enjoy low rates of diabetes and obesity. He then, goes on to say that when these people drop their rice based diets in favour of meatier western diets, that somehow their carbohydrate intakes fall (yes you heard that right) and their weight problems and diabetes increases.

But also he comes out with the usual rubbish that animal protein diets lead to renal damage...

On a side note, if you look in the comments section of that article you will see this:

As Dennis Kucinich said this week, since adopting this diet, he feels so much younger, energetic and is able to campaign for president like he never could have before.

This is nothing personal against vegans BUT the US have a low fat vegan campaigning for president?

OMG... I will say no more! ;)

Back to the topic, next we have the response from Dr Richard Bernstein. He comments that virtually the entire evolution of mankind occurred when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, well before the inventions of agriculture and animal husbandry. He states that they ate lean meat and fish, as well as small amounts of lowcarb vegetables, whilst others lived on just high fat and protein, from mammals and fish, for example, Eskimo's. Both of these enjoyed no coronary, kidney, or arterial disease as well as no diabetes or tooth decay.

The series then moves on to the final article, their proposed optimal eating plan for type 2 diabetes.

Instead of discussing the three views that were just expressed and their validity they instead ignore that saying Let’s be realistic and take a long-term perspective in this “which diet is best” debate, rather than wasting time quibbling over extremes—from low-carb to vegan and conclude:

A number of studies that compare low carb diets to conventional diets demonstrate early initial weight loss and improvement in other health parameters, such as blood glucose control (1,2). But studies of lowcarb diets that last longer than six months do not show significantly more weight loss. They do show that many study subjects drop out of the study and are unable to stick with the diet. (1,2)

Okay so lets just say there is no statistically significant difference in weight loss after 6 months... what about the other health parameters that are statistically significant by a mile compared to their low fat counterparts?

What, they don't mean anything? Not even to the many people suffering diabetes and the assorted complications that come with it?

How can that go by un-mentioned, something SO SIGNIFICANT something that it seems only LOW CARB is capable of doing so well...

Proof? here are just a few:

Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects and Reginas article about it.

Dietary Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus in the Pre-Insulin Era (1914-1922)

Low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes. Stable improvement of body weight and glycemic control during 22 months follow-up

The metabolic response to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet to Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Effects of a Low-Carb Regimen on Glycemic Control and Serum Lipids in Diabetes Mellitus

A low carbohydrate diet in type 1 diabetes: clinical experience--a brief report

Virtually continuous euglycemia for 5 yr in a labile juvenile-onset diabetic patient under non invasive closed-loop control.

They then go on to say...

Low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended by the American Diabetes Association for two key reasons. First, avoiding carbohydrate, as some lowcarb diets suggest, does not entirely return blood glucose levels to the normal range after meals.

What... low carb doesn't and low fat does?

If it isn't capable of that, then why have I heard so many stories over the years of some low carb diabetics even being able to cease taking their drugs? What low fat or vegan diet does that?

And even if it doesn't entirely, from my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) low carb diets usually provided marked improvement in blood glucose levels... is that not good enough?

Proof? Read the studies I linked above!

Second, an adequate amount of carbohydrate is an important component of a healthy eating plan, providing essential fuel, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.(3,4)

Essential fuel? Since when have carbohydrates been essential?

I have heard plenty about essential amino acids and essential fatty acids but essential carbohydrates? That's news to me!

Simply put, diets that force people to dramatically change their eating style are not maintained over the long haul. These diets require too dramatic change compared to the common, albeit not healthy, eating habits of the 21st century.

So what does that mean, that we should continue eating our albeit not healthy diet and take drugs instead?

Or we do a high carbohydrate, low fat diet and... take drugs instead...

And is the retention rate on a low fat diet any better then a low carb one? Personally, my guess would be no, and I'd imagine even worse as low carb diets and fat satisfy our hunger better then anything else. But that's just my guess... ;)

Does anyone ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe one big reason why people have trouble sticking to a low carbohydrate diet is because of all this low fat, low protein propaganda floating around being thrown at them every where they look?

By their doctor, their diabetes educator, the heart foundation, schools, dietitian's, government, television, absolutely EVERYWHERE...

It is crazy, absolutely crazy, lets all sell ourselves short so people can make money off of our bad health.

Just to finish this off, considering it wasn't addressed in the series (heck was anything addressed?), here is a couple of research articles regarding the low carb and kidneys arguement. I thought there was another study, which I can't think of right now (if anyone knows please share):

A low-carbohydrate diet may prevent end-stage renal failure in type 2 diabetes. A case report

Prolonged Meat Diets With a Study on Kidney Function And Ketosis

Anyway, just keep in mind that there is a very strong association between metabolic syndrome and kidney disease... Now, what diet is best for improving metabolic syndrome? That's right... Low Carb :)



BamaGal said...

Great post as usual--thanks for all the great links---I do love the science stuff--

We aren't going to get these people to change their stupid ideas about low fat ---no matter how much science we throw their way---Dr Eades had a post about low-fat being a religion--not science---you need to read it----hilarious but right on target...unfortunately...

Sherrie said...

That may be true BUT the more we all talk about it and show the science the more people that will come across it and thus the more we will all get the message across.

I mean, almost everyone has access to and uses the internet these days and as the older generations die more and more will be using it. The internet is amazing for bringing out the skeptics in us. Before, I heard about a low carb diet (on the inside of a box containing a foul herbal weight loss concoction) I was so, so, so ignorant. The word diet or health food was a naughty word!
My diet was disgusting, and so was my son's, all junk and a lot of the time I would only eat once a day.

Then when I saw that diet and started researching it on the internet bammo here I am, so very different!

Cindy Moore said...

Insanity, I agree.

TESS said...

They will never acknowledge low carb as the wonderful diet it is. To do so, they would have to admit they have been wrong all these years and pride won't let them admit the truth even if continuing on with this way of thinking is hurting the very people they say they are trying to help. Definately insanity!

Sherrie said...

Idiots they are, why not just say "new research shows" blah, blah no need for anyones pride to be hurt.

About PJ said...

Great article, thanks for the links. Yes, the stupidity is truly mind boggling isn't it? But it's more than that. It's deliberate skewing and what amounts to propaganda. I was reading this magazine "HEALTH" today while sitting in the salon getting my little girl's nails done (special treat). I was more horrified with every single page. Everything that had any relation to food whatsoever looked like it was written by some moron totally brainwashed by politicized food propaganda. But the real kicker was this article about science advances. First, in every description, they say utterly nothing of use about real results, numbers, references -- nothing. Second, in every description, they find a way to make grains look good, a couple to make lowcarb look bad, all while providing utterly zero reference, numbers, etc. Third, and this was the one that stopped me, one article started with: "Heartburn can be treated just as well with medication as with surgery."

That's it.

10 days of lowcarbing cured my severe acid reflux forever. What the hell! Medication or surgery?! I just met this woman who told me she had gastric bypass not just to lose weight but "to cure severe medical problems like acid reflux." Damn that made me sad. I had a friend who suffered from that. I told her all about how LC had done it for me and how sensitivity to gluten, which is incredibly common, can also relate to it.

She wouldn't try lowcarb. She told her doctor about it and he said that it was just unhealthy to eat all that fat and lowcarb was a 'extreme and fad diet', and instead put her on a drug to deal with her acid reflux.

Really it's quite amazing. It's like watching your world being taken over by some alien disease that induces dietary moronism in the mass population.

Sherrie said...

You know you just made me think about my pregnancies, my first pregnancy admittedly very easy but I did have really bad heart burn, reflux etc but then my second pregnancy I gained atleast 25 kg (which is pretty much a little more then double in pounds) and I had no heartburn/reflux. I wonder if diet played a part there. Mind you my second pregnancy was not a picture of health so I can't really say a low carb pregnancy was better based on how the pregnancy went but yes I wonder...