Archive for May, 2011

Low fat and diabetes

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

In a recent study, over 8 weeks, it was suggested that reducing fat could help decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes more so than reducing carbs for 69 overweight people.

They apparently compared a low carb diet to a low fat diet.  I guess they were suggesting that by reducing fat intake, you can still enjoy being fat and not increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The problem is that the low carb numbers in this study were set at 43% of daily carb intake?  So on a 2,000 calorie diet, 43% of the carb intake would equate to about 215 grams of carbs by my math?  And that’s supposed to be low carb?

How about under 100 grams of carbs?  Or maybe under 60 grams of carbs? That’s what I call low carb.  200 grams of carbs per day is NOT low carb at all.

“At eight weeks, the group on the lower-fat diet had significantly higher insulin secretion and better glucose tolerance and tended to have higher insulin sensitivity,” the study’s lead author said.

Higher insulin secretion?  Now we know that one of insulins job is to move fat into fat cells.  Does it make any sense health-wise to eat a diet that actually increases insulin secretion?  Unless you were already diabetic and uncontrolled / medicated?  I suspect based on this study, a high carb, high fat diet would make for a really bad diet.  I would add that if you are eating a high carb diet, then you probably do want to cut the fat.

Of course, it would have been interesting to have kept the carb count the same and varied the protein intake.  Or kept the fat content the same and vary the protein intake.  Might have gotten similar results?  Who knows.

The real problem is jumping to conclusions on small amounts of data that could entirely erroneous and generalizing the results.

For example, there was a study showing that over a years time, people eating a high carb diet were happier than those on a low carb diet.  But the glaring thing about that was the total weight loss (not to mention 1 out 5 people were on anti-depressants).  They said the average weight loss was roughly the same in both groups over a year.  Now I know for a fact that if you’re obese and eat under 40 grams of carbs per day for a year, you’re going to lose more than 13 pounds.  So what’s that tell you?  These people weren’t following the diet for the entire year?  Probably the case.  Which would skew the results.

So give it another couple months and another study will come out showing something different.

And while I’m totally biased towards low carb, at some point, you have to find the diet right for your body, based on how you feel, how you look, how much energy, and mental clarity and focus it gives you.

Getting off the low fat wagon

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Slowly but surely, people are figuring out that eating fat doesn’t make us fat.  Fat helps us to feel full and satisfied.  In an interesting article on skim milk, the author points out some studies indicating that reducing fat intake isn’t all that effective.

There is still a knee-jerk reaction to fat.   In the last couple decades the slogan has been ‘low-fat’ everything.  And in general, people aren’t any less fat now than they were 20 years ago.  Sure skim milk has about half the calories of whole milk, but the studies are showing that people just compensate for those calories sometime during the day.

I’ve seriosly tried low-fat, low-calorie diets and really struggled with them.  You think low carb is hard?  It’s a breeze compared to the other options, because you get to eat fat (which your body needs) and makes you feel full and happy.

These days, I never buy low-fat anything, unless it’s cottage cheese where I plan on adding more flax oil (100% fat).  I want the full fat versions of everything.  Meat, cheese, dairy.  And I’ve only lost 76 pounds eating full fat vs low fat.

Choose to eat low fat?  No thanks, maybe next time.


Low fat dairy doesn’t help shed pounds

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

In a completely surprising study, switching to low fat dairy didn’t help kids lose weight.  Wow, what a shocker!  At least now we have some conclusive evidence that reducing fat doesn’t help kids lose weight.

All kidding aside, the only real surprise is that people/scientists still think reducing fat is helpful.  Obviously, I am a bit biased here.  And I’ve only lost 76 pounds by NOT reducing fat.  I reduced carbohydrates instead and guess what?  I lost weight.

The amusing thing to me is one of doctors was quoted as saying that these kids managed to reduce their saturated fat which will help them later in life with heart disease.  Now this is ironic to me.  Because I just read an earlier study that said there are NO STUDIES showing that eating saturated fat causes an increase in heart attacks or strokes.  There is NO evidence to conclude that.  Maybe they should be looking at inflammation levels, cortisol levels, etc.

So the old dogma is still going strong.  Saturated fat is bad, low fat is good (even though the studies aren’t showing that) and so on and so on.  Maybe one of these days, people will catch on.  I don’t know.

I can only gauge by what I know and have experience with.  I don’t buy low fat ANYTHING.  I don’t think fat is the problem.  I think excessive sugar consumption is a major issue.  I think artificial chemicals, growth hormones, antibiotics, mercury, pesticides, genetically modified food and product marketing are all major issues.

Reducing fat is just not a good idea.  Fat helps slow down digestion, which would help prevent serious blood sugar spikes and provides a highly concentrated source of energy.  Sometimes, I take saturated fat by the spoonful in the form of coconut oil.  Sometimes I even add flax oil (100% fat) to full fat cottage cheese.  And I’m still losing weight eating fat :)