The Diet Wars: Low Carb or Low Fat

#41
I am a vegetarian and have been for the last five years and it was the best decision I've ever made. I have IBS and suffered symptoms of it daily before going vegetarian, and now I rarely have an 'episode'. Foods high in saturated fats and meat make my IBS worse, while carbs(the good kind) are perfectly fine on my stomach. I'm not trying to "convert" anyone here to vegetarianism or trying to preach, I just wanted to add my own experience to the debate.
Don't forget that you can eat vegetarian saturated fat - such as peanuts.

David
 
#42
Don't forget that you can eat vegetarian saturated fat - such as peanuts.

David
I can't eat peanuts either, but I understand where you are coming from. Most vegetarians eat saturated fats, but my IBS doesn't allow me to most of the time lol. My life is almost completely saturated fat free.
 
#43
The conventional view is that if you become obese you develop insulin resistance and that is what causes type II diabetes. According to Dr Malcom Kendrick, this view is wrong. He says, if you produce too much insulin you become obese and you develop insulin resistance. Insulin has several functions, one of them is to tell the body to store fat. You can lose weight by reducing the amount of insulin you produce.

Obesity is not the cause of insulin resistance or diabetes. Over production of insulin is the cause of obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.

You can reduce the amount of insulin you produce and reduce your weight by choosing a diet that does not cause you to produce too much insulin. You can do this by avoiding carbohydrates (eating a low carb diet) or by eating fewer high glycemic index carbohydrates and more carbs that have a low glycemic index.

https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/01/23/thinking-about-obesity-and-diabetes/


  • You produce too much insulin
  • You become obese
  • You become insulin resistant
  • You develop type II diabetes
...
When you first read about type I diabetes, one of the things that stands out is that those diagnosed with type I (at least in the past) lost weight very rapidly. They grew thinner and thinner, becoming almost like skeletons – before they all died. Why?

Why, is because insulin is the energy storage hormone. It does not just affect blood sugar levels. In fact, the almost obsessive focus on the interplay between insulin and blood sugar has blinded almost everyone to the fact that insulin does far more than just lower sugar levels. It affects fat, protein and sugar metabolism. It interacts with many different pathways in adipose tissue, muscle cells and the liver. Lowering blood sugar may be, in some ways, the least important thing that it does.

The reason why you die in type I diabetes has little to do with blood sugar levels. You die because, without insulin, fats escape from adipose tissue and travels to the liver as free fatty acids.

 
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#44
I think that as you read around Dr Kendrick's subjects, you become ever more aware of the mechanisms that corrode the whole scientific process. People jumped to various conclusions, and then told everyone to follow a set of dietary guidelines. The guidelines were not only wrong, but they also helped to cement the associated science so that new ideas were almost unthinkable.

Medical ideas result in medical charities that promote the ideas, and they in turn collect a lot of money from the public. Admitting that the ideas were wrong, so that money, collected on the streets, has been wasted giving people bad advice, is almost impossible. Meanwhile charities get large donations from drug companies that encourage the idea that the answer is to be found in yet more drugs rather than changing dietary advice. All this feeds back on the science establishment itself. Much science is performed using money from charities, so researchers try to avoid embarrassing the charities.

The feedback loops are horrendous, and would probably be catastrophic, if it were not for the fact that a lot of people are cussed (or perhaps use common sense). They liked their bacon and eggs, and kept on eating them despite all the warnings. Likewise, a lot of people hate taking statins because they make them feel unwell in a variety of ways - so they don't discuss the problem with the doctor - just throw their drugs away!

There has been a recent discussion on Kendrick's blog about whether it is right to impose a sugar tax. Although Dr. Kendrick recognises that too many people eat way too much sugar, he opposes such a tax, because he points out that if the 'nanny state' (probably a British expression) had imposed a saturated fat tax, people's health would be far worse than it is now!

Biology is clearly almost unfathomably complex, and maybe no idea can really be cast in stone. For example:
The reason why you die in type I diabetes has little to do with blood sugar levels. You die because, without insulin, fats escape from adipose tissue and travels to the liver as free fatty acids.
However, a lot of people also comment on that blog that sugar in the blood binds to proteins in all sorts of unhelpful ways - so maybe the truth isn't quite that simple. I like to think of the body, as rather like a complex machine - e.g. an analog radio set (only more complicated, of course). Such a radio contains hundreds of components, all of which have tolerance levels - a resistor won't be exactly 10^6 ohms (say), samples of that component will have a narrow range of values. However, a repair man will adjust the radio so that that particular radio works at its best. Now suppose that he received guidelines, and was pushed into adjusting things that were working well, just to satisfy the guidelines - disregarding how an individual radio performed.......

Roughly similar feedback loops are clearly a danger to every scientific endeavour. For example, if Alexander Unzicker is right, the whole process of detecting particles whose lifetimes are ludicrously short, is a nonsense. However, scientists find it incredibly hard to stand up and say such a thing (at least while they are still employed) because the waste of billions on the LHC and related accelerators, is too awful to contemplate.

To take another example, if the physics Nobel prizewinner, Ivar Giaever is right, the whole concept of global warming is nonsense - but after spending billions to decarbonise our power supplies, and after vast numbers of well meaning people have joined the cause, the embarrassment is too great to even contemplate the idea!

Anyone who tries to chip away at the feedback loops that hold scientific ideas fixed (but maybe untrue) are derided as "Anti-science" - the thought that people might start to take them seriously, is just unthinkable!

It is a mess!

David
 
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#45
...

Taubes refers to Dr. David Ludwig author of the book "Always Hungry" which says that eating carbohydrates causes insulin to be produced which tells the body how much fat to store. According to Dr. Ludwig, if you increase the amount of carbs you eat you will become fatter, if you eat less carbohydrates you will lose weight.

...

I am not saying that the low carb diet is a fraud. Some people say it works for them. (From my own personal experiences trying these two diets I find Dr. Barnard's complex carbohydrate diet works for me and Dr. Ludwig's low fat diet did not.) But what I do think is interesting is that the people who tout the low carb diets are claiming science proves that it is carbohydrates that make you fat - and that is not necessarily true.
I have given Dr. Ludwig's low carb diet described in his book "Always Hungry" another try and I am liking it much better this time. I would recommend it.

The diet consists of three phases:

phase 1, switch your metabolism to use fat as fuel: 2 weeks,
calories as a % of total consumed: fats 50%, carbohydrates 25%, protein 25%

phase 2, lose weight: several weeks or months (or forever if you gain weight in phase 3):
fat 40%, carb 35%, protein 25%

phase 3, maintain your new weight (some people will need to use the phase 2 diet for maintenance)
fat 40%, carbs 40%, protein 20%

The claims for the diet include:
less hunger
fewer cravings
longer-lasting satisfaction from food
improved energy
more stable mood

It is not a reduced calorie diet. It is based on the scientific observation that carbohydrates cause insulin production and insulin tells the body how much fat to sore. If you eat less carbohydrates your body will reduce the fat it maintains even if you eat a lot of fat and protein.

I have said a low fat diet can work if the carbohydrates you eat are low glycemic index carbohydrates and I still believe that. Both diets limit your food choices in different ways so individual preferences could determine which one is easier to put into practice, easier to stick with, or preferred by an individual. I switched because I have started making my own peanut butter (grind peanuts in a food processor - very easy) which has a lot of fat (peanut oil) in it and it is not a good match for a low fat diet. I think the problem I had with Dr. Ludwig's diet previously was that I had a hard time consuming enough fat to provide the needed fuel. It may be that it was easier for me to switch my metabolism to fat burning this time because I was already eating a lot of peanut butter.

I like using fat as fuel for the body. I tend to get a lot of exercise and it can be hard to ramp up fuel intake on a low fat diet, even low glycemic index carbs will produce a high glycemic load if you eat enough of them.
 
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#46
I have given Dr. Ludwig's low carb diet described in his book "Always Hungry" another try and I am liking it much better this time. I would recommend it.

The diet consists of three phases:

phase 1, switch your metabolism to use fat as fuel: 2 weeks,
calories as a % of total consumed: fats 50%, carbohydrates 25%, protein 25%

phase 2, lose weight: several weeks or months (or forever if you gain weight in phase 3):
fat 40%, carb 35%, protein 25%

phase 3, maintain your new weight (some people will need to use the phase 2 diet for maintenance)
fat 40%, carbs 40%, protein 20%

The claims for the diet include:
less hunger
fewer cravings
longer-lasting satisfaction from food
improved energy
more stable mood

It is not a reduced calorie diet. It is based on the scientific observation that carbohydrates cause insulin production and insulin tells the body how much fat to sore. If you eat less carbohydrates your body will reduce the fat it maintains even if you eat a lot of fat and protein.

I have said a low fat diet can work if the carbohydrates you eat are low glycemic index carbohydrates and I still believe that. Both diets limit your food choices in different ways so individual preferences could determine which one is easier to put into practice, easier to stick with, or preferred by an individual. I switched because I have started making my own peanut butter (grind peanuts in a food processor - very easy) which has a lot of fat (peanut oil) in it and it is not a good match for a low fat diet. I think the problem I had with Dr. Ludwig's diet previously was that I had a hard time consuming enough fat to provide the needed fuel. It may be that it was easier for me to switch my metabolism to fat burning this time because I was already eating a lot of peanut butter.

I like using fat as fuel for the body. I tend to get a lot of exercise and it can be hard to ramp up fuel intake on a low fat diet, even low glycemic index carbs will produce a high glycemic load if you eat enough of them.
So what problem were you trying to solve, and how far have you achieved your goal?

David
 
#47
So what problem were you trying to solve, and how far have you achieved your goal?

David
I switched because I have started making my own peanut butter (grind peanuts in a food processor - very easy) which has a lot of fat (peanut oil) in it and it is not a good match for a low fat diet.
...
I like using fat as fuel for the body. I tend to get a lot of exercise and it can be hard to ramp up fuel intake on a low fat diet, even low glycemic index carbs will produce a high glycemic load if you eat enough of them.
 
#52
Different people have different dietary needs because of their different genetic backgrounds.

For some people, eating red meat prevents depression and anxiety.
https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/334910

This is relevant to the skeptico community because within some spiritual groups, vegetarianism is considered to be more spiritual and is some cases said to be necessary to produce spiritual experiences. Personally, I have not found this to be true for myself.

Spiritual experiences are mediated through the brain. A well functioning brain will be an asset in spiritual exploration and growth. Finding the right diet, customizing it for the individual, is for some people an important part in living a spiritual life.

And some environmentalists discourage eating meat because it requires more resources to produce. And animal rights advocates also discourage eating meat.

Considering the nutritionists, spiritual traditions, environmentalists, and animal rights advocates, there is a lot of pressure put on people do do what may be harming their mental health and spiritual growth.
 
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#53
I have given Dr. Ludwig's low carb diet described in his book "Always Hungry" another try and I am liking it much better this time. I would recommend it.

The diet consists of three phases:

phase 1, switch your metabolism to use fat as fuel: 2 weeks,
calories as a % of total consumed: fats 50%, carbohydrates 25%, protein 25%

phase 2, lose weight: several weeks or months (or forever if you gain weight in phase 3):
fat 40%, carb 35%, protein 25%

phase 3, maintain your new weight (some people will need to use the phase 2 diet for maintenance)
fat 40%, carbs 40%, protein 20%

The claims for the diet include:
less hunger
fewer cravings
longer-lasting satisfaction from food
improved energy
more stable mood

It is not a reduced calorie diet. It is based on the scientific observation that carbohydrates cause insulin production and insulin tells the body how much fat to sore. If you eat less carbohydrates your body will reduce the fat it maintains even if you eat a lot of fat and protein.

I have said a low fat diet can work if the carbohydrates you eat are low glycemic index carbohydrates and I still believe that. Both diets limit your food choices in different ways so individual preferences could determine which one is easier to put into practice, easier to stick with, or preferred by an individual. I switched because I have started making my own peanut butter (grind peanuts in a food processor - very easy) which has a lot of fat (peanut oil) in it and it is not a good match for a low fat diet. I think the problem I had with Dr. Ludwig's diet previously was that I had a hard time consuming enough fat to provide the needed fuel. It may be that it was easier for me to switch my metabolism to fat burning this time because I was already eating a lot of peanut butter.

I like using fat as fuel for the body. I tend to get a lot of exercise and it can be hard to ramp up fuel intake on a low fat diet, even low glycemic index carbs will produce a high glycemic load if you eat enough of them.
If anyone is interested ... I have settled on a diet with 50% calories from carbs, 20% from protein, 30% from fat. I think phase 3 (maintenance) did not give me enough carbs I was in a bad mood too often. Carbohydrates cause insulin production which increases tryptophan uptake by the brain, which can increase serotonin production, which can improve your mood. Increasing carbohydrate in take can help improve your mood.
 
#54
I want to share some random thoughts about the general struggle which the public has in discerning how to eat healthy overall (not directly related to the idea of macros).

As somebody who has been interested in health and fitness my whole life I’ve read several interesting things and studied several of these topics at University. I have Bachelors degrees in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. The more reading I did on these topics, the smaller and less varied my diet got. At one point, I had read a well spoken and credentialed researcher go on about about how virtually every food in existence is bad in some way. I’ve read that tomatoes are bad, peas are bad, ALL grains are always bad, more recently I read that lentils were bad. All of these guys bring science. It reached a point where I felt that only green vegetables were safe, because of course I had also read that fruits are also bad due to their sugars. And these are all (generally) natural and Whole Foods we are talking about.

Slowly it dawned on me that people were making this way too complicated. The US is a nation full of fat people eating fast food, processed foods, and other junk every day. And here we have people railing against tomtatoes, peas, and lentils etc?As if anybody is in critical care and dying because they ate tomatoes, lentils, or fruits too often, and not fast food and candy. I think the solution is pretty simple. You eat as many vegetables as you can (try and make this your staple), add a hair of salt and butter if you need to. Eat good nuts, good whole ancient grains, berries etc., and supplement if you feel your diet may not provide an abundancy of a particularly nutrient, and be active and exercise. If you do this, you’re going to be healthy and fit. Nobody gets fat from eating too many vegetables.

I think people are super confused due to all this hair splitting that the experts do, who often try to argue that certain Whole Foods are unhealthy (you can find an expert arguing that virtually any sort of food is unhealthy, as mentioned), when, in my opinion, the advice should be short and simple. Again, try to eat as many green/colorful and leafy vegetables as possible (along with other Whole Foods) and exercise.

Regarding macros, I try to eat a balance of the three macros, but I do tend to feel Irritable and fatigued if I don’t eat carbs. I’m transitioning to vegan (more as an animal rights advocate than as a nutritional position) and haven’t really noticed a difference in how I feel regarding this fairly recent change.
 
#55
I want to share some random thoughts about the general struggle which the public has in discerning how to eat healthy overall (not directly related to the idea of macros).

As somebody who has been interested in health and fitness my whole life I’ve read several interesting things and studied several of these topics at University. I have Bachelors degrees in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. The more reading I did on these topics, the smaller and less varied my diet got. At one point, I had read a well spoken and credentialed researcher go on about about how virtually every food in existence is bad in some way. I’ve read that tomatoes are bad, peas are bad, ALL grains are always bad, more recently I read that lentils were bad. All of these guys bring science. It reached a point where I felt that only green vegetables were safe, because of course I had also read that fruits are also bad due to their sugars. And these are all (generally) natural and Whole Foods we are talking about.

Slowly it dawned on me that people were making this way too complicated. The US is a nation full of fat people eating fast food, processed foods, and other junk every day. And here we have people railing against tomtatoes, peas, and lentils etc?As if anybody is in critical care and dying because they ate tomatoes, lentils, or fruits too often, and not fast food and candy. I think the solution is pretty simple. You eat as many vegetables as you can (try and make this your staple), add a hair of salt and butter if you need to. Eat good nuts, good whole ancient grains, berries etc., and supplement if you feel your diet may not provide an abundancy of a particularly nutrient, and be active and exercise. If you do this, you’re going to be healthy and fit. Nobody gets fat from eating too many vegetables.

I think people are super confused due to all this hair splitting that the experts do, who often try to argue that certain Whole Foods are unhealthy (you can find an expert arguing that virtually any sort of food is unhealthy, as mentioned), when, in my opinion, the advice should be short and simple. Again, try to eat as many green/colorful and leafy vegetables as possible (along with other Whole Foods) and exercise.

Regarding macros, I try to eat a balance of the three macros, but I do tend to feel Irritable and fatigued if I don’t eat carbs. I’m transitioning to vegan (more as an animal rights advocate than as a nutritional position) and haven’t really noticed a difference in how I feel regarding this fairly recent change.
Just to add to your confusion, I found this article fascinating because it exposes some of the way in which bad science is created:

http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/meat-and-cancer/

Just think about it, if you give rats a meat rich diet, essentially none of them will catch cancer as a result, so you could never have enough rats in your experiment to see a statistically significant effect. To solve this, you give the experimental animals and the controls a shot of a powerful carcinogen to push them in the direction of cancer. Even then none of the animals in this study actually got cancer, and this study is part of the WHO evidence against meat!

Of course when you do this, there is a fair probability that more vegan mice will get cancer than the meat eaters, but no doubt any studies that turn out that way get filed in a desk draw labelled 'paradoxical'.

Ethical considerations are another issue altogether, but pets like dogs, and especially cats are friendly, perhaps because they are intelligent, and perhaps intelligent because they are predators. Tricky!

David


David
 
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