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The Danger of Low Carb Diets..
Old 03-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
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The Danger of Low Carb Diets..

I’ve been a big fan of Dean Ornish since he published Eat More, Weigh Less in 1993. I believe, based on my research, that he is the first researcher (peer reviewed) to demonstrate the reversal of Heart Disease based on diet. A Low Fat, plant based diet. And, oh by the weigh [pun intended], you lose weight.

The best piece I’ve ever seen on Ornish vs. LCHF is an Ornish talk at TED at 8:20 in this video:


If you do nothing else, watch at 8:20 for 5 minutes. My belief is that if you take the 15 minutes to watch the video, you will end up doing a bit more research before pulling the LCHF diet trigger.

In a nutshell, he has demonstrated that a low fat, plant based diet will lead to weight loss AND an improvement in cardiovascular function, reduced cancer rates such as breast, colon and prostate cancer. All the top killers in the country.

Sure, you can lose weight on Atkins, but the health issues are not worth the risk for the weight loss. There are healthier ways to lose the weight.
10:40 talks about the dangers of the Atkins (LCHF) diets and demonstrates the impact on your heart. A peer reviewed study in Angiology demonstrated the heart issues associated with LCHF diet.

For all the data that we seem to use to manage our ability to retire early, I would think this crowd would be after peer reviewed data for LCHF to demonstrate the overall impact on your health, not just weight loss….
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REattempt View Post
I’ve been a big fan of Dean Ornish since he published Eat More, Weigh Less in 1993. I believe, based on my research, that he is the first researcher (peer reviewed) to demonstrate the reversal of Heart Disease based on diet. A Low Fat, plant based diet. And, oh by the weigh [pun intended], you lose weight.

The best piece I’ve ever seen on Ornish vs. LCHF is an Ornish talk at TED at 8:20 in this video:


If you do nothing else, watch at 8:20 for 5 minutes. My belief is that if you take the 15 minutes to watch the video, you will end up doing a bit more research before pulling the LCHF diet trigger.

In a nutshell, he has demonstrated that a low fat, plant based diet will lead to weight loss AND an improvement in cardiovascular function, reduced cancer rates such as breast, colon and prostate cancer. All the top killers in the country.

Sure, you can lose weight on Adkins, but the health issues are not worth the risk for the weight loss. There are healthier ways to lose the weight.
10:40 talks about the dangers of the Adkins (LCHF) diets and demonstrates the impact on your heart. A peer reviewed study in Angiology demonstrated the heart issues associated with LCHF diet.

For all the data that we seem to use to manage our ability to retire early, I would think this crowd would be after peer reviewed data for LCHF to demonstrate the overall impact on your health, not just weight loss….
It's Atkins. If you can't even get his name right...
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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I believe, based on my research, that he is the first researcher (peer reviewed) to demonstrate the reversal of Heart Disease based on diet.
Well, as always, it's a bit more complicated. Consider this description, which is generally very favorable to Ornish:

A Diet That Restricts Daily Fat Intake to 10% Can Help Fight Against Heart Disease

Quote:
Dr. Ornish has developed two diets ...

The Reversal Diet is for people with known heart disease who want to reverse its effects and lower their heart attack risk.

The Prevention Diet is recommended for people who do not have heart disease but whose cholesterol levels are above 150 without cholesterol lowering medication, or for people with a ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good cholesterol) that is less than 3.0.

Quote:
"Eating fat makes you fat." and causes heart disease.

Fat that is ingested by the body is easily converted into body fat. Complex carbohydrates, the staple of low-fat diets, are less easily converted to body fat.
...
Saturated fat is converted by the liver to cholesterol and raises the blood cholesterol level.
If you care to take the time to look at Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" book, you'll find that he pretty neatly demolishes those arguments.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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It's Atkins. If you can't even get his name right...
Fixed, thanks for the catch!
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Screw the science.

If we have to remove both carbs and fats from our diets then there's no reason to be alive in the first place.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to have a little more stir-fried rice. I'm pretty sure its vegetables conform to Ornish's good intentions.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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Fixed, thanks for the catch!
Still more work to do (catches - plural). edit, looks like you caught it the second time around

I'm in neither the low-fat nor the low-carb camp. Seems to me the arguments for reducing refined carbs are solid and not challenged much (at least I'm not aware of anything that says: yes, eat LOTS of table sugar on white bread! ).

I do recall reading one of Ornish's books years ago. I can't recall thinking that he had a lot of evidence to back his claims (going by memory, maybe he did). But cutting fat down to the levels he was talking about seemed like it would be very, very tough for me to do. If I was convinced it was do-or-die, I guess I'd find a way.

Though the low-carb books had lots of data, I wasn't impressed with the quality of the data, and what they ignored. It was preaching to the choir as far as I was concerned (I know others here disagree - that's fine, no need to re-hash that, it's just how I feel). So I'm not ready to cut non-refined carbs, but I'm not afraid of a little fat either.

I do know that early on, the Atkins nay-sayers were (and I'm exaggerating for effect) warning that everyone on that diet would fall down dead in 6 months and their lipids would go through the roof, but it seems that didn't happen, and their blood work looks good from what I've read. So I'd be interested in some good written summary data backing Ornish's claims, kinda hard to follow a slide that goes by in 12 seconds.

-ERD50
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the post.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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This guy can sure talk fast!
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:55 PM   #9
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This guy can sure talk fast!
I was thinking that too! His syllabic rate must be 150% of a typical New Yorker. I doubt that most below the Mason-Dixon line could follow him at all.


-ERD50
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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If I recall correctly, some experts have commented that both the low-fat and the low carb diets have one thing in common - they both drastically reduce the amount of added sugar and highly refined grains consumed in the diet. They attribute much of those diet's success to the reduction of added sugars and the highly refined grains.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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Americans have been limiting fat in their diets for two decades and during those same two decades metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, sleep and joint problems and diabetes) has become an enormous health problem.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Americans have been limiting fat in their diets for two decades and during those same two decades metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, sleep and joint problems and diabetes) has become an enormous health problem.
Strangely, heart disease went up right along with metabolic syndrome, as fat consumption declined. Medicine and science do not see the whole picture yet, and may not for decades. One triumph would be that maybe we could safely return to bacon when the answers are in.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:52 PM   #13
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Well, as always, it's a bit more complicated. Consider this description, which is generally very favorable to Ornish:

A Diet That Restricts Daily Fat Intake to 10% Can Help Fight Against Heart Disease


Quote:
"Eating fat makes you fat." and causes heart disease.

Fat that is ingested by the body is easily converted into body fat. Complex carbohydrates, the staple of low-fat diets, are less easily converted to body fat.
...
Saturated fat is converted by the liver to cholesterol and raises the blood cholesterol level.
If you care to take the time to look at Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" book, you'll find that he pretty neatly demolishes those arguments.

First, my issue is an interest in whole health, not just weight. The latest statistics from the CDC shows that Heart disease: 599,413 and Cancer: 567,628 are the #1 and #2 killers and account for more deaths that #3 thru #10. (FASTSTATS - Leading Causes of Death) I want to lose/maintain weight, reduce my risk of heart disease and cancer. Think of it as having a diversified portfolio!


So, haven’t read the book yet, but I will get it from the library.


Found a youtube interview with Taubes to get some sense of what he is saying….“Chronic increase in carbs leads to an increase in insulin levels and chronic accumulation of fat in fat tissues.” ()



I think it is interesting that at 9:25 in the Ornish video, he says the same thing “one thing that Atkins and I agree on is that Americans eat too much simple carbs (sugar, white flour, white rice, alcohol). Simple carbs don’t fill you up. They are absorbed quickly so blood sugar zooms up. The pancreas makes insulin to bring it down. Increased insulin accelerates conversion of calories into fat.” (his eat more, weigh less says the same thing on page 26.)


My quick assessment is that they fundamentally agree on the process.
Where there is diversion is the solution. I’ll have to read the Taube’s book to get is solution and what studies he references for LCHF.


Dean Ornish solution is more of the good carbs (whole fruit, veggies, whole wheat, brown rice). They are rich in Fiber which a) fills you before you eat too much and b) slows absorption of carbs so you don’t get the rapid rise in insulin. His final argument is that there are other disease protection ingredients with these carbs. He does not argue against fat, more about transfats and saturated fats. He also advocates a grazing approach in addition to the types of foods to eat. This is supported by a study published in the NE Journal of Medicine by Dr. David Jenkins. That looked at grazing and demonstrated grazing reduces cholesterol 15%, reduced cortisol by over 17% and reduced blood insulin levels by almost 28%.




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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'm in neither the low-fat nor the low-carb camp. Seems to me the arguments for reducing refined carbs are solid and not challenged much (at least I'm not aware of anything that says: yes, eat LOTS of table sugar on white bread! ).

Though the low-carb books had lots of data, I wasn't impressed with the quality of the data, and what they ignored.

So I'd be interested in some good written summary data backing Ornish's claims, kinda hard to follow a slide that goes by in 12 seconds.
-ERD50
Paragraph #1 seems to be what everyone agrees on.

I totally agree with paragraph #2. I am not impressed with the quality of the data. I also think there is a bunch that they ignored, or glossed over, especially the whole health aspects. Everybody want to prove the weight loss, but I want whole health. Appropriate weight, low likelihood of heart disease and reduced incidence of cancer.

As for paragraph #3, Here is his study on the reversal of heart disease: Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? : The Lancet and the 5 year follow-up: Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary he... [JAMA. 1998] - PubMed - NCBI [Ornish D, Scherwitz L, Billings J, Brown SE, Gould KL, Merritt TA, Sparler S, Armstrong WT, Ports TA, Kirkeeide RL, Hogeboom C, Brand RJ. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease Five- year follow-up of the Lifestyle Heart Trial. JAMA. 1998;280:2001-2007.]

Here is his study on the impact of diet and lifestyle on telomerase activity and its impact on cancer: Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study : The Lancet Oncology

A recent study found that an Atkins- type diet "promotes atherosclerosis through mechanisms that do not modify the classic cardiovascular risk factors" such as HDL http://mygreendiet.com/wp-content/up...10/02/2286.pdf [Smith SR. A look at the low-carbohydrate diet. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:23]

Other studies also showed that measures of heart disease, not just risk factors, worsened on an Atkins diet, including myocardial perfusion, flow-mediated vasodilation, and inflammation but improved significantly on a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. A) http://engine2diet.com/~engine2/usrf...of-3-diets.pdf [Miller M, Beach V, Sorkin JD, et al. Comparative effects of three popular diets on lipids, endothelial function, and C-reactive protein during weight maintenance. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:713-717.] B) http://ang.sagepub.com/content/51/10/817.abstract [Fleming R, Boyd LB. The effect of high-protein diets on coronary blood flow. Angiology. 2000;51:817-826.]

How's that for a start?
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:55 PM   #14
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Americans have been limiting fat in their diets for two decades and during those same two decades metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, sleep and joint problems and diabetes) has become an enormous health problem.
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Strangely, heart disease went up right along with metabolic syndrome, as fat consumption declined. Medicine and science do not see the whole picture yet, and may not for decades. One triumph would be that maybe we could safely return to bacon when the answers are in.
Start the Ornish video at 9:00. The percentage of Fats is lower, but the fat intake and carb intakes are higher.....
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:02 PM   #15
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One thing people have to consider is how sustainable is the diet. I don't mean in terms of the planet - though that is an issue also - but in terms of our lifestyles. My problem with the very low fat diet is that I get hungry within an hour or two, but my work environment is not condusive to whipping up a good low-fat mid-morning snack. It is more condusive to quickly eating junk food. So, a good breakfast with some fat in it (natural, not trans fats) keeps me going until lunch with no need for a snack.

I find the same true for the LCHF diet. If I really cut down the carbs that much, my body rebels in unpleasant ways. As a teacher, I cannot simply leave my work-space to deal with the problems. Adding some whole grains in place of the fats to the LCHF diet and things seem more normal. Again, I can manage until lunch with no snacks and without my body being upset.

Perhaps, when I join the ranks of the truly retired, I will have the time to follow either diet more stricly, but for now it is not possbile. Limiting added sugars and highly processed grains, and eating real food seem much better, and it is sustainable for me. My two calories.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:12 PM   #16
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One thing people have to consider is how sustainable is the diet. I don't mean in terms of the planet - though that is an issue also - but in terms of our lifestyles. My problem with the very low fat diet is that I get hungry within an hour or two, but my work environment is not condusive to whipping up a good low-fat mid-morning snack.

Perhaps, when I joined the ranks of the truly retired, I will have the time to follow either diet more stricly, but for now it is not possbile. Limiting added sugars and highly processed grains, and eating real food seems much better and it is sustainable for me.
Chuckanut, you hit it. I Fired in August and felt I needed to address my health. I wanted to lose some weight and get in better shape. Harder to find the foods. Have to make trips to the store more often to get fresh fruits and veggies. More preparation time to get snacks ready for your day.

Sustainability is harder. But I find if I have the right snacks around, I do great and actually enjoy grazing. I find I eat less and weigh less. My bloodwork is also in a much better place.

It is easier when you are FIREd. But it is not impossible to get 'er done and have snack readily available for your day!
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:15 PM   #17
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I'm in neither the low-fat nor the low-carb camp. Seems to me the arguments for reducing refined carbs are solid and not challenged much (at least I'm not aware of anything that says: yes, eat LOTS of table sugar on white bread! ).
-ERD50
+1

I might also add that the high-fat advocates no longer recommend slathering on large portions of high trans-fat margarine either.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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One triumph would be that maybe we could safely return to bacon when the answers are in.
I'm going to start the journey now and wait for the answers to catch up...
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:28 AM   #19
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If you care to take the time to look at Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" book, you'll find that he pretty neatly demolishes those arguments.
I will still read the book, but Ornish and Taubes were on Charlie Rose (with guest host Dr. Oz) in 2002. You can see it here in 5 parts:



Fascinating 50 minutes. They all have very different approaches, personalities, backgrounds, communication capabilities etc. You kinda have to get over the personalities to separate the wheat from the chaff. Segment 3 is about the best....

I'm sticking with Ornish. I don't think the science is there to support the LCHP diet and Taubes doesn't make his case...it is some fantasy world he want us to suppose that it is possible.

I give him it is possible, but all the research I've seen doesn't support it. Looking forward to the book to get the supporting science.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:17 AM   #20
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I'm going to start the journey now and wait for the answers to catch up...
Right on, Nords!
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