More Low-Carb Junk

Have we entered a parallel universe or something? Because why the heck have low-carb diets been in the news so much lately? Maybe the early daylight savings time is throwing off people’s better judgment. Any way, get a load of this new study singing the praises of the low-carb fad. Reuters is on it:

After 12 weeks on the low-carb plan, study participants had lost an average of 4.9 kilograms (10.8 pounds), compared to 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) for their peers on the low-fat diet.

However, after the weight-maintenance phase of the study, which lasted another 24 weeks, differences between the two groups in weight loss and fat mass remained, but were no longer statistically significant.

The findings confirm that the low-carb diet tested in the study is a "reasonable alternative" to cutting fat and controlling portions in order to maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Kevin C. Maki of Radiant Research in Chicago and colleagues conclude.

The approach Maki's team tested -- a reduced-glycemic-load (RGL) diet -- required people to restrict their carbohydrate intake and eat more low glycemic index (GI) foods, meaning foods that produce a relatively small, gradual increase in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods generally are rich in fiber, consist of more complex carbohydrates, and include vegetables, beans and whole grains.

What amazes me about low-carb news is you never get the whole story. For example, according to Dr. Fuhrman high-fat low-carb diets like the Atkins fad come with an increased risk of cancer, funny how you never hear about this. More on this from Increased Risk of Cancer Associated with The Atkins Diet:

Atkins recommends that you eat primarily high-fat, high-protein, fiberless animal foods and attempt to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Atkins's menus average 60-75 percent of calories from fat and contain no whole grains and nor fruit. Analyses of the proposed menus show animal products make up more than 90 percent of the calories in the diet.

Hundreds of scientific studies have documented the link between animal products and various cancers. Though it would be wrong to say that animal foods are the sole cause of cancer it is now clear that increased consumption of animal products combined with the decreased consumption of fresh produce has the most powerful effect on increasing one's risk for various kinds of cancer. Atkins convinces his followers that he knows better than leading nutritional research scientists who proclaim that "meat consumption is an important factor in the etiology of human cancer."1

So then, what foods decrease your risk of cancer? I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain, more the from post:

Atkins devotees adopt a dietary pattern completely opposite of what is recommended by the leading research scientists studying the link between diet and cancer.2 Specifically, fruit exclusion alone is a significant cancer marker. Stomach and esophageal cancer are linked to populations that do not consume a sufficient amount of fruit.3 Scientific studies show a clear and strong dose-response relationship between cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, and prostate with low fruit consumption.4 To the surprise of many investigators, fruit consumption shows a powerful dose-response association with a reduction in heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.5 There is also a striking consistency in many scientific investigations that show a reduction in incidence of colorectal and stomach cancer with the intake of whole grains.6 Colon cancer is strongly associated with the consumption of animal products.7 And these researchers have concluded that the varying level of colon cancer in the low-incidence population compared with the high-incidence population could not be explained by "protective" factors such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals; rather, it was influenced almost totally by the consumption of animal products and fat.


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In the News: Atkins Good?

Go ahead, roll your eyes. Quite frankly I get tired of talking about the Atkins diet, but, like all fads people can’t get enough of it. And to make matters worse, yesterday it was reported that Atkins beat out other diets like the Zone and the Ornish diet. Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press covered it:

Overweight women on the Atkins plan lost more weight over a year than those on the low-carb Zone diet. And they had slightly better blood pressure and cholesterol readings than those on the Zone; the very low-fat, high-carb Ornish diet, and a low-fat, high-carb diet similar to U.S. government guidelines.

Stanford University researcher Christopher Gardner, the lead author, said the study shows that Atkins may be more healthful than critics contend.

But the study isn't a fair comparison because by the end, few women were following any of the diets very strictly, critics argue, although those in the Atkins group came the closest.

The study "had a good concept and incredibly pathetic execution," said Zone diet creator Barry Sears.

Now, I’m sure this whipped all the low-carb lemmings into some sort of frenzy. No doubt they’re flaunting their junk science and kissing the feet of the new low-carb diet expert of the month. Take Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb for example:

While low-carb weight loss success stories like mine are interesting and important in communicating the message that the Atkins diet really works for people, the real difference in our culture will come when more and more research like this one today is brought to the attention of family doctors and those who work directly with overweight and obese patients. People trust their doctors and will heed their advice about diet. Now if we can only get the healthcare community to absorb this research.

If that happens (and I believe it will at some point), then it could very well bring about the much-needed paradigm shift within the world of diet, health, and nutrition that has been needlessly dominated by what has been proven in another JAMA study last year to be the high-carb, low-fat lie for far too long. Keep the low-carb research coming because sooner or later the truth will break through. Hopefully, not before it's too late.

Just keep rolling your eyes. Even still, I wanted to ask Dr. Fuhrman what he thought about all this. His answer gets right to the point. He said, “This shows that all these diets stink and people desperately need to Eat to Live.” Now, at the risk of sounding like a brownnoser, Dr. Fuhrman’s absolutely right. Pitting Atkins against these diets is like comparing a bucket of rotten eggs to pile of garbage, they both stink.

The truth is Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live diet style puts them all to shame, but since it involves eating lots of veggies and giving up our emotional attachments to food, you’ll never hear about it. Just take a look at how other diets—including Atkins—fail to stack up against Eat to Live when it comes to lowering cholesterol. From the library of

And here, check out how Eat to Live’s nutrient content seriously overshadows that of the Atkins diet. Short and Long-Term Dangers of High-Fat Diets has more on this:

Okay, so I think I’ve wasted enough of your time proving a point that research already has. But, in the off chance that you’re still on the fence about the Atkins diet, take a gander at DiseaseProof’s Diet Myths category and you’ll find plenty of posts refuting the lunacy that is the low-carb lifestyle.

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