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Old 10-26-2009, 09:13 AM   #41
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Who needs butter when you can use peanut butter!!!! (organic dark roasted chunky peanut butter, of course!!!!)

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Old 10-26-2009, 09:40 AM   #42
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One important argument for me is that the body does a remarkably precise job of regulating the amount of calories it needs. Just a few calories too many or too little per day, and you'd expand greatly or waste away. I don't think it's reasonable that you can decide that you will take in fewer calories over the long run any more than you can decide to breathe in less air. The body is in control here. Aggressive advertising isn't enough to overcome this control.

However, if carbohydrates are throwing a monkey wrench into this control system, then perhaps there's something you can do.

Also, the carbohydrate hypothesis is a possible explanation of the obesity epidemic. It's the first explanation that satisfies me as to why people are fatter today than 50 years ago (that is, an emphasis on lowering fat has increased carbohydrate consumption).
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #43
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I think that it is an interesting hypothesis that I hope has truth in it for me.

I find it fascinating that people will eat too many calories, end up fat, but stabilize on that weight. They consume enough calories to maintain that weight, which is more than the amount of calories needed to maintain a healthier weight. There are not too many people who keep eating and eating and eating until they have to be hauled out of their house through the picture window.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:54 AM   #44
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One important argument for me is that the body does a remarkably precise job of regulating the amount of calories it needs. Just a few calories too many or too little per day, and you'd expand greatly or waste away. I don't think it's reasonable that you can decide that you will take in fewer calories over the long run any more than you can decide to breathe in less air. The body is in control here. Aggressive advertising isn't enough to overcome this control.

However, if carbohydrates are throwing a monkey wrench into this control system, then perhaps there's something you can do.

Also, the carbohydrate hypothesis is a possible explanation of the obesity epidemic. It's the first explanation that satisfies me as to why people are fatter today than 50 years ago (that is, an emphasis on lowering fat has increased carbohydrate consumption).
I think you are definitely onto something. But I don't think high-carbs in the diet is the ONLY issue. IMO if we managed to maintain the same level of physical activity that was prevalent decades ago - more manual labor, a lot of walking - we wouldn't see nearly so much obesity. There do seem to be older societies that eat plenty of starches, yet their physical activity seems to keep metabolic syndrome at bay.

So, IMO, it's both. You can't ignore the correlation between increasingly sedentary lifestyle and US/Western obesity.

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Old 10-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #45
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I find it fascinating that people will eat too many calories, end up fat, but stabilize on that weight. They consume enough calories to maintain that weight, which is more than the amount of calories needed to maintain a healthier weight.
The book discusses this, saying that as the fat cells get fuller, they are more likely to release their stored energy and not take in more (like an over-inflated balloon). At some point a new equilibrium is reached, and the other cells are getting just the energy they need.

But cut down the amount of food taken in, and those other cells will be just as deprived as would those of a supermodel who is being starved.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:16 AM   #46
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I think you are definitely onto something. But I don't think high-carbs in the diet is the ONLY issues. IMO if we managed to maintain the same level of physical activity that was prevalent decades ago - more manual labor, a lot of walking - we wouldn't see nearly so much obesity. There do seem to be older societies that eat plenty of starches, yet their physical activity seems to keep metabolic syndrome at bay.

So, IMO, it's both. You can't ignore the correlation between increasingly sedentary lifestyle and US/Western obesity.

Audrey
Yep. Saw a PBS tv program study many years ago - Indian tribe both sides of the US/Mexican border. In Mexico they still lived the 'old fashioned way' off the land with not much in modern conviences. Hop the bus to go visit their cheeseburger/fries/watch tv American relatives - big difference - which was blindingly obvious on camera.

heh heh heh -
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:54 PM   #47
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Al, thank you for the book report and thread, which you began while I was away from the board. I just read the thread and it is fascinating.

My doctor told me sternly to go on a low carb diet about a month ago (low fat too, but I was already doing that with Weight Watchers). Of course I did that immediately, and I was astonished to find that my excessive appetite almost disappeared and it was much easier for me to stay at or below Weight Watchers' points limits. Maybe it was due to the carbs, or maybe it was psychological, or both, but there is a data point for you.

Given my constant battle with obesity, and my doctor's advice, I intend to continue eating fewer carbs. He suggested that instead of rice or potato portions, just eating 1/4th of a portion. That seems to be enough of a change to make a difference, for me.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:46 PM   #48
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Yep. Saw a PBS tv program study many years ago - Indian tribe both sides of the US/Mexican border. In Mexico they still lived the 'old fashioned way' off the land with not much in modern conviences. Hop the bus to go visit their cheeseburger/fries/watch tv American relatives - big difference - which was blindingly obvious on camera.

heh heh heh -
Pima Indians if I remember correctly. Just finished a walk in the park.

Leaning toward a plain 'large Arby's roast beef.' Sooo - I should toss the bun and eat the beef?

heh heh heh - I shall continue to avoid the weigh in thread like the plague. .
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:57 PM   #49
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Pima Indians if I remember correctly. Just finished a walk in the park.

Leaning toward a plain 'large Arby's roast beef.' Sooo - I should toss the bun and eat the beef?

heh heh heh - I shall continue to avoid the weigh in thread like the plague. .
Just eat 1/4 of the bun!
Or even better: throw out the bun and toast a thin slice of the best French bread you can get up there in Missouri. Then, throw out the beef and substitute some thin sliced steak for it. Now, you've got a good one-sided sandwich!
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:11 PM   #50
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Another book report, with a side order of delicious sarcasm.

The Peril of Palatability - Reason Magazine

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Thinking back on all those times my mother offered me a second helping, I now realize how much she hates me.
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:14 PM   #51
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I order a turkey club, throw away the bread and eat the bacon, salad in the middle with turkey on the bottom.

So it is a bacon lettuce tomato turkey sandwich. Truly. Little messy but great tasting.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #52
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Scientists claim junk food is as addictive as heroin

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Old 10-30-2009, 02:53 AM   #53
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I thought there were some concerns about the effects of a long term, high protein diet from a liver standpoint. Does the book address that?

Also, since we live in Shanghai right now, just an observation. The Chinese typically have had a high carbohydrate (mostly rice based), low protein/fat, and low calorie diet for many years - and there were few fat people here. They also tended to get alot of excercise. From what I have heard, in the last few years the average weight has gone up. I haven't seen any studies that claim to pinpoint a cause, but everything is changing now - including higher protein intake, higher fat intake, less exercise, more fast food, etc.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:40 AM   #54
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He does address the high protein/low fat - it is what the Eskimos call rabbit starvation. Your body turns the excess protein to glucose and you aren't any better off than on a high carb diet.

The eye-opener for me in the detailed going thru of all the studies and the what the data actually showed compared to what the conclusion of the researchers has been is how consistently the studies do not show any correlation between cholesterol levels in the diet or blood and heart disease and how consistently fat is shown to be the great regulator of our metabolic systems.

The other big eye-opener is the actual makeup of animal fats - mostly monounsaturated fat, about 1/3 saturated and low amounts of polyunsaturates. That and all the studies that show a link between polyunsaturated fats and cancer (yikes)! So consistent that polyunsaturated fats is how they induce cancer in lab animals so they can test drugs on them.

The upshot is that the current dietary recommendations have tons of research showing us that it is the exact wrong path to health and is most likely the contributing factor in our obesity, diabetic, heart disease and cancer epidemics. There has been such bad science in the whole medical/nutrition fields, that the only reasonable conclusion a person can come to is to try to emulate our ancestor's diets as much as we can.

The reality is our ancestors who had little incident of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes was almost never seen (they died of infectious disease, childbirth, and accidents) ate a lot of natural fat and most of that was animal fat.

And the Okinawans who eat their traditional diet (that is changing in the younger population there too) actually ate a lot of pork as well as fish. Not much rice, lots of low carb, high nutrient vegetables. The Japanese have a fairly high incident of cancer and stroke.

People also walked a lot more than we do now but the health data do not show that exercise helps all that much in weight maintenance or loss. There is little data that supports the notion that exercise helps in heart disease either (remember all those runners dying of heart attacks?). Exercise has many benefits but it does not seem to be the key to weight or health and does not undo the damage done by our poor diet.

We do have a huge nutritional experiment occurring now with disastrous results. Most people in the US eat much less fat, little saturated fat, high amounts of polyunsaturated fats and high carbs with low protein intake over the last 25-30 years as the govt and health/food industry changed the way we eat and live "to improve our health". The results are 60% are overweight when before only 10-15% were and increasing incidents of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. How much more evidence do we need before we stop believing the hype and blaming the victims?
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:52 AM   #55
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... We do have a huge nutritional experiment occurring now with disastrous results. ...
Great post! Thank you for that clarity.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:17 PM   #56
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I thought there were some concerns about the effects of a long term, high protein diet from a liver standpoint. Does the book address that?
When I read quite a bit about this a few years ago, all I could find out was that high protein diets were only a issue for people who already had impaired liver/kidney function due to other issues/diseases. It really couldn't be extrapolated to the general healthy population.

Yet there seems to be such a strong cultural bias against higher animal protein diets due to the environmental costs of animal protein and/or animal rights issues, that somehow eating more protein can be seen as "less desirable" and therefore is frequently discouraged. Whether that is in fact true from a purely human health standpoint - well, it doesn't seem that it has really been proven.

Personally, I have no desire to eat such a high protein diet as to induce ketosis. I don't care if that burns fat - it's just kind of weird to me personally. But I'm not willing to eat a high starch diet either just because that's the cheapest food to produce and can help feed more of the planet.

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #57
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People also walked a lot more than we do now but the health data do not show that exercise helps all that much in weight maintenance or loss. There is little data that supports the notion that exercise helps in heart disease either (remember all those runners dying of heart attacks?). Exercise has many benefits but it does not seem to be the key to weight or health and does not undo the damage done by our poor diet.
I'm not so sure about this - it seems that some research on weight loss and maintenance of loss has shown that regular daily exercise IS essential.

And runners, etc., no, if your diet is so bad it clogs your arteries than running will not overcome a poor diet. But there are other ways exercise has been shown to be heart protective - it raises HDL for example and higher HDL is heart protective. And regular exercise has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity which then helps prevent metabolic syndrome (which also has heart risks).

But I agree that is does not undo a really poor diet. Yet, otherwise, numerous health benefits and prevention of disease from exercise have been shown.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:02 PM   #58
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I'm not so sure about this - it seems that some research on weight loss and maintenance of loss has shown that regular daily exercise IS essential.

And runners, etc., no, if your diet is so bad it clogs your arteries than running will not overcome a poor diet. But there are other ways exercise has been shown to be heart protective - it raises HDL for example and higher HDL is heart protective. And regular exercise has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity which then helps prevent metabolic syndrome (which also has heart risks).

But I agree that is does not undo a really poor diet. Yet, otherwise, numerous health benefits and prevention of disease from exercise have been shown.

Audrey
As far as I've ever been able to find, exercise - and I'm talking significant aerobic and resistance exercise - has the capability to raise a person's HDL a maximum of 10%. If you have a high HDL level already, 50 or more, that would be up to 5 or so points. However, if you are genetically low HDL-wise (like me - <25), you get a whopping 1 to 3 point increase. I doubt that will save my life. I personally want to exercise so I have some strength and endurance in my declining years , not because I think it's going to do much for me weight or longevity-wise. I tend to agree with Tesaje, I haven't seen much science supporting exercise helping with weight loss. I do agree it improves insulin sensitivity, which is a good thing.

By the way, I've been taking high dose Niacin (with my doctor's agreement). At my last lab test my HDL was 39. I've never been over 25 in my life. To me that was a significant increase - 55%.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:39 PM   #59
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Also, since we live in Shanghai right now, just an observation. The Chinese typically have had a high carbohydrate (mostly rice based), low protein/fat, and low calorie diet for many years - and there were few fat people here. They also tended to get alot of excercise. From what I have heard, in the last few years the average weight has gone up. I haven't seen any studies that claim to pinpoint a cause, but everything is changing now - including higher protein intake, higher fat intake, less exercise, more fast food, etc.
Yes. How to explain that? A higher percentage of their calorie intake comes from rice, but I am sure that their total calorie intake is lower due to no soda drink, candy, snack, etc...

These people do not go to the gym either. I don't think they have excess energy to burn off on an exercise bike; it has to be expended in activities that are more economically gainful, i.e. to produce more food!
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:03 PM   #60
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Personally, I have no desire to eat such a high protein diet as to induce ketosis. I don't care if that burns fat - it's just kind of weird to me personally. But I'm not willing to eat a high starch diet either just because that's the cheapest food to produce and can help feed more of the planet.

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Ketosis (i.e. ketones in the urine) happens with low carb intake. It can be achieved with lower protein and replacing the nutrients with fat. Most low carb diets are not high protein but are high fat. Ketones are an alternative cellular fuel to glucose. It is not the same as ketoacidosis that happens in kidney failure problems and is a risk for diabetics. The advantage of using ketones as cellular fuel is that insulin is not raised as it is with glucose. Traditional Eskimos live their whole lives on meat and fat and very little vegetation. A high protein, low fat diet is not good at all and is not how any people eating their traditional diet eat. They eat a lot of fat with the protein and prize the fat. A lot of people who go low carb get a better cholesterol profile - higher HDL and lower LDL.

I have a cat with kidney disease and feed him protein food. The reason they thought protein caused kidney problems is because protein meat sources have a high phosphate content. The phosphates are thought to make kidney disease worse but it is unknown if they are causative. He's doing very well with a phosphate binder and low phosphate chicken food for over a year now. A cat is an obligatory carnivore and has muscle wasting on a low protein diet so I could not see feeding him unnatural food like grain to get the phosphates down. That is what the vet food consists of.

We have 3 choices of basic food. Protein, fat, and carb. If we reduce one, then another one has to take its place. We need enuf protein to keep our muscles from wasting but extra protein is converted to glucose. The high fat intake with low carb makes the body use fat for fuel and cuts insulin production while keeping blood sugar very level. Insulin is how fat is put into cells. The point of making the body use ketones for fuel is so the fat in the cells is mobilized as fuel in an abnormal metabolism. Ketones are a normal metabolic. It is one of the ways we are so adaptable and why people can live healthily on only animals. Taubes' book details all this along with the actual data in great detail. The high protein charge is made in ignorance of what the diet really is.
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