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19 September 2013

I agreed with this article. It's nothing shocking, and probably not even news to most (all?) of the people here. But I think it's a good piece to keep in mind the time a nuclear war breaks out in the forum over carbohydrate. Or paleo. Or saturated fat. Or whatever.

Calling For An End To Nutrition As Religion

Quote:
The easiest question to evaluate any dietary plan or religion is simply, "Could I happily live like this for the rest of my life?" where the most important word in that question is "happily." If the answer's "No," you've either got to get comfortable with adding in some sinning, or find another way to go.

Add in some sinning in the form of thoughtful, "worth-it," dietary imperfections, and suddenly new lifestyles may transform from the merely tolerable to the actually enjoyable. Enjoy your lifestyle, albeit imperfectly, and maybe you'll even stick with it.

Nutrition isn't religion. Eat the healthiest diet that you can enjoy, because if you're not enjoying it, it isn't going to last, and tolerable isn't good enough. Sin a little, on me.

03 September 2013

Article share of the day, for those interested in more of the "why" of overeating. Guyenet is a careful, methodical writer - despite the title, the article is more about food reward in general, rather than yet another carbohydrate argument:

Is Refined Carbohydrate Addictive?

Quote:
One of the most pervasive ideas in the diet-health sphere, and to some extent even in the scientific literature, is that when you eat rapidly digesting carbohydrate, this causes an increase in blood glucose and insulin, followed by hypoglycemia (the "crash"). This low level of blood glucose then causes hunger and cravings. It's a simple, logical idea that has virtually no scientific support.

Hypoglycemia definitely causes hunger and food cravings (3). That isn't in question. The problem is that the level of hypoglycemia that causes hunger (below 51-65 mg/dL depending on the study; 3, 3B) is rare in non-diabetics, no matter what kind of carbohydrate they eat. For example, Dr. Ludwig's study reported that participants had an average fasting glucose of 88 mg/dL. This is a normal level of fasting glucose. At the lowest level of the HGI group's post-meal "crash", they had a blood glucose of 85 mg/dL-- a trivial 3 mg/dL below fasting, and nowhere near hypoglycemic. The LGI group had a blood glucose of 95 mg/dL, only 10 mg/dL higher than the HGI group. Could a difference in blood glucose this small account for measured differences in hunger? Probably not, given that previous studies have struggled to find satiating effects of much higher levels of blood glucose in humans.

The unfortunate reality is that there is no compelling evidence that blood glucose fluctuations within the normal range cause differences in hunger and food intake.

25 July 2013

It's been a month since my last check-in.... Still not tracking food or weighing more than once every 10 days or so.

Last month I decided to see if I could go on a short cut and lose a little fat without measuring my food or weighing myself. So I reined in portion sizes just a tiny amount and started swapping some - but not all - discretionary snacks with less calorie-dense choices. Sure enough, the belt is a little looser, and the scale at my physician's office had me down 2 pounds. Bingo.

Random nutrition articles that might be of interest:

Why junk food is unlikely to end obesity
Nice article reconciling why lower-calorie versions of junk are still probably not going to affect population obesity rates. One of the better quotes:
Quote:
Healthful eating isn't simply about more (or, in this case, less) of a few specific nutrients, nor is consumer behavior simple to predict as, when it comes to health halos, the research to date suggests it's both counterintuitive and perhaps even downright bizarre.

Undoubtedly, processed foods are here to stay. Were the food industry to make lower-calorie options more readily available, then those options may well be beneficial for those who truly take the time to carefully evaluate their diet's nutrition and caloric breakdowns. They won't, however, help the average, harried consumer in our currently overhyped marketplace.


The "Health Halo" effect is no joke. It's one of the reasons I became and stayed fat.

But I think that last sentence inadvertently sums up the debate about calories vs ...whatever the alternative to calories is today. Despite neverending forum arguments, a calorie deficit is both necessary and sufficient to lose mass. This isn't really debatable any longer. But it's also not more than one part of the story. The way people achieve and sustain a calorie deficit matters is crucial to the long-term success of body recomposition, and since most people aren't interested in learning a lot of nutritional theory, and then weighing and tracking all their food - playing it all by ear becomes much easier when the diet is higher in a diverse balance of whole and less-processed foods, and heavier on protein.

Next:
Dietary intake of carbohydrates and risk of type 2 diabetes: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study

Quote:
Dietary intakes of total carbohydrates, starch, sucrose, lactose or maltose were not significantly related to diabetes risk after adjustment for confounders. However, in the residual method for energy adjustment, intakes of fructose and glucose were inversely related to diabetes risk.... The replacement of 5 % energy intake from SFA with an isoenergetic amount of fructose was associated with a 30% lower diabetes risk.


Yep. Fructose and glucose in the diet were inversely related to the risk of diabetes, and swapping saturated fats with an isocaloric amount of fructose was correlated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes. BUT this was just an observational study, so not as interesting as a controlled experiment. Overconsumption in general still appears to be the bigger risk, more so than individual ingredients or macros.

And here's another primer on the fundamentals (with special guest appearance by Alan Aragon in the comments), since it's destined to be an unending debate, apparently:

Why Calories Count
Quote:
In studies where subjects are forced to overeat — they always gain weight.18-24 25-28

There is often a lot of individual variation in how much weight and fat people gain, but they always gain some. These differences are mostly because some people subconsciously move more when they overeat to burn off the extra calories (a phenomenon called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or “NEAT,” which we’ll talk about later).19,24,29-32

However, this increase in subconscious energy expenditure is never enough to completely offset the increase in calories. In every study thus far — people still gain weight when they are eating more calories than they expend. They never expend enough to completely prevent weight gain when they overeat calories.

17 June 2013

03 June 2013

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