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Old 03-28-2012, 08:49 AM   #61
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ReAttempt,

Seems to me, you need sufficient protein to maintain and/or grow muscle and I assume one needs muscle to help metabolize blood sugar. The other variable you need to consider is exercise in conjunction with the diet. So while a high protein diet in itself may be bad, if its lean meat based (turkey, salmon, chicken) and balanced from a macro-nutrient perspective and combined with reasonable exercise, I wonder how bad it is, especially if ones blood work is yielding good, HDL/LDL, triglycerides, and blood glucose #s.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:52 AM   #62
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Sadly, the RISKS are significant:

The 1 year study here: The Effect of High-Protein Diets on Coronary Blood Flow
Unfortunately the link leads to an abstract that doesn't describe the actual diets employed and the links to articles on low card citing this article lead to a pay wall. It would be interesting to know if the subjects actually conformed to LC in practice rather than just high protein (with normal fat and carb). Also, the study involved 16 people - isn't that pretty weak?

I assume you got the whole study somehow since you show images I didn't see so you may have the details.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #63
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"... The same rhetoric is being regurgitated here, without the scientific support. The responses forced me to do the research again in 2012, almost 10 years later, nothing has changed. There is no "new good science" to support the conjecture about LCHF diets on heart health and cancer. "

OK. Let me get this straight. You were able to review ALL the research findings in nutrition over the past week, and after accomplishing that feat have concluded that a vegetarian lifestyle is not only the best, but apparently the only one supported by "good science". I think you are spending too much time on the Atkins-sucks website.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:23 AM   #64
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Well, sounds to me like no one really has a clue, so I'm sticking with my HCHFDH (high carb, high fat, die happy) diet. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll come up with a cure for self indulgence before I check out.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #65
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OK. Let me get this straight. You were able to review ALL the research findings in nutrition over the past week, and after accomplishing that feat have concluded that a vegetarian lifestyle is not only the best, but apparently the only one supported by "good science". I think you are spending too much time on the Atkins-sucks website.
I laughed out loud at this...No I didn't review it all and I haven't spent time on the Atkins sucks website...AND I'll be the first to say that I'm no expert. I'd love to believe in the LCHF approach too...believe me it would be much easier...aside from weight loss, which I will agree, you can lose weight on Adkins or many of the other diets...I just don't see the outcomes.

I will also be the first to admit that I don't trust the Gummint agencies and their "food pyramids" and broad brush stroke nutrition recommendations. I think they have screwed it all up too.

I actually think the jury is out. The human body is so complex and we try to isolate one thing and prove it, when in fact the reality is very different and more complex. I also think that the human behavioral/psycho/social factors play heavily into the obesity/CHD/Cancer problems.

I do believe more whole/raw foods (unrefined foods), fruits, veggies in the diet are better than McDees, Wonder Bread and sugary drinks and foods. I believe that reducing saturated fats and trans fatty acids lead to better heart health. I believe that monounsaturated fats are the best for heart health. I believe that omega-3 fatty acids are helpful to the heart. I believe that grazing is a reasonable solution. I believe that stress reduction and exercise also have a huge impact on weight and overall health. I believe that portion size and Calories in/out has an impact on weight.

I also believe that if you want to reduce/eliminate/reverse CHD, or minimize your chances of getting/or reversing Prostate Cancer a low fat (<10%), plant based diet is the only dietary way that has been demonstrated to do this without drugs or surgical intervention.

I further believe that for day to day living, LF Plant Based diet is difficult. So is saving money for retirement. It's all in what you want your outcome to be!

Either way, it has been a mental challenge and fun to look into the claims...if we have some fun with it and challenge our own thinking, then we've moved ourselves forward.

What is the URL for that Atkins-sucks website?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #66
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IMO, it's silly to ignore good evidence, but discovering which is good is the problem for me. I get wrapped around the axle trying to sort rct, sample sizes, food frequency questionaires, and the rest. In the thick of it, I usually recall the paper below, which makes me feel better for a few minutes.

PLoS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

And, when I feel or hear expressions of hubris regarding "cures" or certainties about seemingly intractable chronic diseases, I remember Einstein's statement: " As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it"

We're bound to examine this stuff, but it ain't easy.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:11 AM   #67
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The reason I found the China Study book so compelling was that it was written by a scientist, T Colin Campbell, who changed to a plant-based diet after performing epidemiological studies which showed that perople who ate a plant-based diet were the healthiest. He also published a number of research studies in scientific journals that provided explanations for why people who ate the plant-based diet were healthier. Campbill wrote this book after he retired because he thought it was important that people have access to this information, not for his own profit. Both my husband and myself are scientists. Campbell backed up all his conclusions with scientific arguments. It was very compelling reading.

Over the last thirty years, I have transitioned to eating a plant-based diet, partly because of personal perference and partly for health reasons. I see how suddenly switching from a typical Western diet to a plant-based diet would be a radical lifestyle change. Sometimes I find myself yearning for bacon or ice cream (which I could have as an occasional treat), but I rarely do so because now I have new "comfort foods". It seems to me that the type of food one eats, can evoke all sorts of emotional associations which makes it difficult to discuss this subject rationally.

On the other hand, I have watched several realtives and friends suffer through the complications of chronic illness (cancer, heart problems, diabetes etc) before their death. It wasn't pretty. I would prefer to live the rest of my years in the best health possible. The possibility that a plant-based diet could help me avoid these health problems made it a no-brainer for me to change my diet.

One way to decide whether the low-carb or plant-based diet is the healthest for you might be to read the China Study book. There is evidence that a plant-based diet not only prevents chronic diseases but can also reverse heart disease, diabetes etc
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #68
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Sue -- if you appreciate scientific argument you may like:
Final China Study Response (HTML Version) « Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet

warning: you might change your mind about the china study
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #69
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Sue -- if you appreciate scientific argument you may like:
Final China Study Response (HTML Version) « Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet

warning: you might change your mind about the china study
Don't bank on it!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #70
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ReAttempt,

Seems to me, you need sufficient protein to maintain and/or grow muscle and I assume one needs muscle to help metabolize blood sugar. The other variable you need to consider is exercise in conjunction with the diet.
+1 on the need for protein.
++1 on the exercise.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:17 PM   #71
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Bottom line:

Eat to live, don`t live to eat.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #72
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Unfortunately the link leads to an abstract that doesn't describe the actual diets employed and the links to articles on low card citing this article lead to a pay wall. It would be interesting to know if the subjects actually conformed to LC in practice rather than just high protein (with normal fat and carb). Also, the study involved 16 people - isn't that pretty weak?

I assume you got the whole study somehow since you show images I didn't see so you may have the details.
I didn't have the entire study when I posted it...like you, I had lots of question too. I too wanted to see the Fat consumption of the diets. 16 isn't a lot of people, but the quote from the abstract "The differences between progression and extension of disease in the HPG and the regression of disease in the TG were statistically (p < 0.001) significant." is significant....that is a low p value.

I did not get the whole study when I posted, I googled for the image after going through the abstract and seeing the scans shown on the Taubes/Ornish Video.

Well, after the your question and @rgarlings comment about too much time on the atkins sucks website...I found the study on the Atkins sucks website... LOL!

Atkins Facts - Richard M. Fleming, M.D.

Who knows if the actual content was modified before it was posted, For our purposes, I'll assume not...likely Fleming would have issue with it if it mis-represented his work.

I think the study and the findings are significant.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #73
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27:30 It was not a controlled study and the author admits that the study showed that "If you buy this book from the book store, this is what is likely to happen...One is more controlled and one is more public health oriented, we picked the public health oriented approach"
This is the most damning admission of the tape.He is admitting that it is a test of whether people can follow the advice, not a test of the impact of the dietary approach on weight loss (primary outcome).

This is just bad science and even worse mis-representation of secondary outcomes...it did not demonstrate that the Atkins diets were better or comparable than the others. It didn't test the others, it didn't even control them, it tested them against what people's interpretations of them were!
To keep this simple, let's take this one thing, and look at it. There are two problems with what you have said.

First, you are not understanding the meaning of "controlled." This is a very clearcut thing. Gardner's study was a randomized, controlled study. At that point in the video, he is saying that what the people ate was not controlled. That is, the people were not housed and fed -- their environment was not controlled. That does not mean that the study was not controlled. Each of the diet groups was a control for the other groups. The experiment was controlled.

In science, "control" is defined as:
To verify or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard.

That's exactly what he did. He compared the results between the different parallel experiments.

If he had just had one group, had them follow the Atkins diet, and said "Look they lost weight!" that would not have been a controlled experiment. There would have been no control group to compare the results to.

In his experiment, he had three control groups for every diet type.

So, to say that the experiment was not controlled is incorrect.

Second, just because he didn't do the experiment you wanted to see, doesn't mean that it was damning or bad science.

He said he had a choice: he could feed and house the people (essentially putting them in a cage) and control exactly what they ate to find out which diet worked best under those circumstances, or he could teach subjects from the diet books, and have them follow what they were taught.

The first experiment (housing and feeding) would have no value in the real world. Who care what happens if people are in a cage?

The second experiment has value to you and me. As a result, he chose to scientifically answer the question "Which diet will work best for me?" Which diet will be most effective, in the real world, at helping people to lose weight?

He did this with a controlled scientific study, and found that the Atkins diet was best. He incidentally found that traditional markers of health, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, we better after subjects followed the Atkins diet a compared with the controls. He reported those results. There was no misrepresentation.

That's all he set out to do, and he did it following the best principles of science.

No one can do this experiment testing cardiovascular results over 20 years. That would be nice, but it's not feasible. The best we can do is look at marker that correlate with CVD.

In summary, it was a randomized, controlled experiment that looked at how different diets would affect subjects' weight and health markers in the real world. It was excellent science.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #74
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While I was catching up on this thread I had a nice lunch. I was out running errands earlier and stopped by Wendys and picked up a double cheeseburger "baconator". When I got home I removed the patties and cheese and bacon from the bun and placed them on a big bed of lettuce. It was a great lunch. I fed the bottom half of the bun which had some cheese stuck to it to the dog. I want her to have a good balanced diet and so did not feed her the top half of the bun which had no cheese on it. Life is good!
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #75
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So the dog is the control group, eh? <G>
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #76
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To keep this simple, let's take this one thing, and look at it. There are two problems with what you have said.

First, you are not understanding the meaning of "controlled." <SNIP> The experiment was controlled.

So, to say that the experiment was not controlled is incorrect.

Second, just because he didn't do the experiment you wanted to see, doesn't mean that it was damning or bad science.
<SNIP>

That's all he set out to do, and he did it following the best principles of science.

No one can do this experiment testing cardiovascular results over 20 years. That would be nice, but it's not feasible. The best we can do is look at marker that correlate with CVD.

In summary, it was a randomized, controlled experiment that looked at how different diets would affect subjects' weight and health markers in the real world. It was excellent science.
1) I Agree with you on the controlled study. I misspoke..it was a controlled study. I might even agree with you on the damning or poor science. He did, however, have poor compliance (see below).

2) I wasn't arguing with the loss of weight on Atkins. It may well be the best diet for people to lose weight "in the real world." In fact, it did demonstrate that people who reduced carb intake lost more weight. That's about all the study demonstrated.

3) I do believe that it is a mis-representation. The article published in Jama was Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for change in Weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women. It was not a comparison of the diets. It was a comparison of a poorly executed study that got no where near the compliance of well run studies and DOES NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL RESULTS OF THE DIETS WHEN FOLLOWED.

Ok, with that out, I understand your point about "which diet will work, given my inability to follow directions, for me?" Fair point.

It is OK science, however poorly executed...biggest mistake was in the execution:

What happened in this study that subjects weren't able to follow the basic guidelines of their diets during the period of intense teaching and support? This was an NIH funded study - so, how did a $2-million trial fail to achieve measurable compliance? Other studies note good to excellent compliance, check it out:
ScienceDirect.com - The American Journal of Cardiology - Comparison of Coronary Risk Factors and Quality of Life in Coronary Artery Disease Patients With Versus Without Diabetes Mellitus Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets
Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, February 8, 2006, Howard et al. 295 (6): 655
Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Weight Change Over 7 Years, January 4, 2006, Howard et al. 295 (1): 39

One thing is clear to me: those tasked with instructing participants about their assigned diets knew the rules of the dietary approach well and were able to communicate, clearly, how to implement the necessary dietary changes to participants in the studies.

In this study (AtoZ): "[t]he same dietitian taught all classes to all groups in all 4 cohorts."
and per the video, the follow-up support was "thank you for your input, goodbye."

It's clear to me, from this study's method of instruction compared with other studies with better compliance, that it is not just knowledge of a diet that is necessary to teach someone how to follow a diet, but actual expertise of the dietary approach is critically important. The enthusiasm and understanding of the approach. Compliance is driven by the quality of the instruction and the follow-up and support.

Compliance stunk across the board...even the Atkins group had poor compliance.

These are not the best principles of Science. They are sloppy execution.

I get that they took the "public health" approach, but then name it something different..."Dietary results for AtoZ based on real world compliance....."

Finally, I agree that we need a 20 year time horizon to truly "know." However, I disagree with the assertion that looking at the markers are "the best we can do." I believe that looking at outcomes (CVD, CHD, blood flow) are better measure of cardiac impact than simply the markers.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:27 AM   #77
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Not sure if this study may have been mentioned above but I will toss it out as relevant in any event. I was looking for info on a different topic at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) site. NCCAM is a government funded outfit that employs a lot of real scientists and has a mission to explore the efficacy of alternative health approaches. I happened to notice a link to Atkins in the index and found it contains one NCCAM funded study from 2007. The study compared four diets (including Atkins and Ornish) for 1 year with 311 women. It found Atkins resulted in the greatest weight loss (I don't think there is much argument here on Atkins being good for weight loss) but significantly it found good metabolic effects. From the summary:
The Atkins diet group reported the most weight loss at 12 months with an average loss of 4.7 kilograms, or just over 10 pounds. They also had more favorable overall metabolic effects. Average weight loss across all four groups ranged from 3.5 to 10.4 pounds. The authors note that “even modest reductions in excess weight have clinically significant effects on risk factors such as triglycerides and blood pressure.”
This does not in any way mean that the Ornish diet couldn't be the "best" for overall wellness. But it does support the contention that LCHF may be a good alternative - and doable for many like me who could never endure Ornish. Here is NCCAM summary.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #78
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Not sure if this study may have been mentioned above....
Donheff...yes, this is the same study that we are discussing above.

They funded him/them for $2MM.

I think we (me and T-Al) are in agreement the science is fine, but I contend the results are misleading because of the poor compliance.

Based on looking around after my "issue" with the mis-representation and the the compliance issue, come to find out, they actually did a sub-study 1 year later...specifically on my issue, compliance/adherence: Dietary adherence and weight loss success among overweight women: results from the A TO Z weight loss study.

Dietary adherence and weight loss success ... [Int J Obes (Lond). 2008] - PubMed - NCBI

Here are the actual compliance numbers from the study:

"Across all three diet groups, only one participant, in the Ornish group, met the criteria for absolute adherence at all three post-randomization time points. A total of nine participants from the three diet groups met the absolute adherence criteria for at least two of the three post-randomization time points (Atkins, n=6; Ornish, n=1; and Zone, n=2)."

"...dietary data were available at all four time points for 181 women (78%) (Atkins, n=68; Zone, n=57; and Ornish, n=56)."

So, 6 out of 68 women in the Atkins group were adherent (8.8%); 1 out of 56 in the Ornish group (1.8%), and 2 out of 57 in the Zone group (3.5%). Those are pretty poor adherence numbers. By comparison, Adherence and Success in Long-Term Weight Loss Diets: The Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) got somewhere around 55-66% compliance after 2 years. Granted it is self reported, but so was AtoZ.

Either way, they found that the most compliant people lost the most weight....

Atkins
Highest compliance = 8.3kg
p = 0.0006

Zone
Highest compliance = 3.7kg
p = 0.12

Ornish
Highest compliance = 6.5kg
p = 0.06

I'm still trying to get the study itself, I'd like to see the CHD marker results for the highest compliant individuals to compare those results. My guess is that it is not in this study...unfortunately.


I guess the bottom line to this thread, from my perspective is the following:

1) If weight loss is your goal, LCHF/Atkins and LF/Plant based will work.
2) Choose your diet and stick to it, don't cheat...you will get better results.
3) Exercise.
4) Based on data/feedback from the study(ies) above and ER.org participants, adherence to LCHF/Atkins is easier. You will likely be more successful on LCHF/Atkins.
5) If you choose LF/Plant and you follow it, you will have demonstrable improvement in your CHD outcomes and potentially reversal of CHD and an improvement in prostate cancer outcomes.
6) There is no evidence that LCHF/Adkins will improve CHD outcomes or reverse CHD and there is no evidence that it will improve prostate cancer outcomes.
7) There is some evidence to suggest that LCHF/Adkins will exacerbate coronary blood flow in the short term vs. LF/Plant based.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #79
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Sorry but your 6 and 7 are both wrong. LCHF diets have been shown to
1. reduce inflammation
2. reduce triglycerides
3. raise HDL
4. foster pattern A LDL profile
5. lower blood pressure
6. reduce arterial plaque
7. reduce body fat / weight
8. improve muscle mass
and more...

Many of these factors are felt to be risk factors for CAD, and improving one's risk factors is thought to improve one's CHD outcomes. Doesn't that count as evidence? Furthermore, the triglycerides / hdl ratio is currently believed to be the BEST indicator of coronary disease. A LCHF diet will quickly improve this ratio.

LCHF keeps blood sugar low, reducing AGE and the risk of cancer. Also, these diets reduce arterial plaque, including in the coronary arteries which generally would improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:31 PM   #80
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I still have to go back to Bill Clinton, (who most would agree is a pretty smart guy) who has access to the best medical advice money and fame can buy has chosen a 'Vegan' diet to treat his CAD. Looks like he also lost some weight in the process.
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