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What I’m Reading, Friday, June 28, 2013

From Dr. Peter Attia’s blog today On Diet

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Two (Long) Videos featuring critical discussion of Low Carb Diets

The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?) – YouTube

Uploaded on May 22, 2008

January 17, 2008 presentation by Christopher Gardner for the Stanford School of Medicine Medcast lecture series.

The case for low-carbohydrate diets is gaining weight. Christopher Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, has completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets using real-world conditions, which he discusses – the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top.

For some more information regarding Christopher Gardner the one time/ long time vegetarian and nutritionist who gave this lecture (and the study and lecture itself too):

Atkins vs China Study Diet. Who Won? You Decide – YouTube

Published on Apr 20, 2013

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., wrote “The China Study” in 2005. A professor emeritus at Cornell University, Campbell was the director of the China-Oxford-Cornell study on diet and disease in the 1980s. The book chronicles his findings about diet and health from his career in basic science. While not calling himself a vegetarian or vegan, Campbell supports a whole-food, plant-based, low protein/low fat diet.

Eric Westman, M.D., has conducted clinical trials regarding the Atkins diet, made famous by Robert Atkins in 1972. The Atkins diet, sometimes called the antithesis of the China Study, suggests that lower consumption of carbohydrate and higher consumption of fat leads to better cardiovascular health. Westman is a physician specializing in obesity medicine and associate professor of internal medicine at Duke University.

The two squared off at a public debate on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Listening to the presentations I though Dr. Campbell’s presentation was rife with logical fallacies and at time he very conveniently left out information that didn’t or wouldn’t support his position (cherry picking).

For some more information regarding the Low Carb v. China Study debate and this debate in particular:

 

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What I’m Reading, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On Diet

The other day I was watching Morning Joe (like I do every morning) and one of the guests was David H. Freedman who was there to talk about his just published article in Atlantic…

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The article:

And then today I ran across this article in Grist about Freedman’s premise in that article…

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What I’m Reading, Sunday, June 23, 2013

On Diet

Atkins-bashing and the spirit of Bill Buckley | Richard David Feinman (The emphais is mine)

The headline read “Vascular effects of a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet.”   The article, as anticipated, was trying to trash low carb diets. This is not uncommon. Those of us who work in the field are used to it.  Low carbohydrate diets are the thing that doctors and nutritionists love to hate.  Every junior faculty in a medicine department feels obligated to write a review showing how bad such diets are, frequently by saying that they don’t conform to the recommendations of the USDA, an example of what was the original meaning of “begging the question”, namely assuming the question in deducing the answer, that is: The USDA guidelines defines healthy diets. The Atkins diet says that the USDA guidelines are bad.  The Atkins diet does not conform to the USDA guidelines. The Atkins diet is unhealthy. QED.

The paper in question, however, turned out to be especially infuriating, claiming that a low-carbohydrate  diet will cause the build-up of plaque that is characterized as atherosclerosis but the experiment was absurd.   It reminded me of the kind of articles that William F. Buckley, Jr. used to write, the kind that made you wonder: does he really not see how illogical this stuff is.  By coincidence the low carb-atherosclerosis paper appeared about the same time as Gary Wills’s portrait of Buckley appeared in the Atlantic.  It was a very sympathetic review although Wills was not blind to Buckley’s faults.  I saw in Buckley’s personality this same kind of thing that was in the atherosclerosis paper. I understood pleasure in being infuriating but you can always do that while trying to get it right. I suddenly had some perspective on it all. I could see a mindset where the truth was not the main reinforcer as we say in behavioral psychology.  Buckley was simply motivated by something else. So first, I’ll tell you about the low carbohydrate diet paper.

The thing that drives the nutritional establishment crazy is not that low carbohydrate are effective for weight loss. Everybody knows that. The earliest writers on food, Brillat-Savarin for example, made the observation that the principles of fattening your pig for market by feeding her grains applied to humans as well. What gets people nuts is that the cardiovascular risk that was supposed to follow from the increase in fat did not materialize.  In fact, when actually studied, low carbohydrate diets reduced cardiovascular risk, dramatically lowering triglycerides (fat in the blood), increasing HDL (the so-called “good cholesterol”)  and improving other risk factors.  In fact, the paper by Foo, et al. in PNAS admitted “randomized trials suggest low-carbohydrate diets may accelerate weight loss with surprisingly little negative effect on serum markers of cardiac risk such as cholesterol,” but that didn’t stop the authors who were able to come up with new warnings about atherosclerosis from low-carbohydrate diets.

(read the complete article…)

Robb Wolf a research biochemist and one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition responds to criticism of the Paleo Diet/Lifestyle:

From Andreas Eenfeldt, MD

  • What Happens If You Eat 5,800 Calories Daily on an LCHF Diet? | DietDoctor.com (the emphasis is mine)

    […]

    Summary

    There is a difference between overeating and overeating.

    When eating bad carbohydrates it’s easy to gain weight quickly. You’ll get plenty of the fat-storing hormone insulin in your blood.

    It’s generally hard to gain weight on an LCHF diet. It’s even difficult to eat too much food, as you then usually have to eat more than you want. Even if you force down large amounts of LCHF-food, against your will, the result is usually as it was for Feltham. It’s a constant struggle and weight gain will likely be modest.

    Overweight people eating as much as they want on an LCHF diet will typically lose weight.

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What I’m Reading, Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cooking…

  • Shopping Low Carb: Whole Foods, Supermarket, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon Subscribe and Save | Low Carb Confidential

    Shopping low carb – at least the way that I do it, can be a pain in the ass. The reasons for this are:

    • The conventional supermarket has the most variety and the best prices generally, but the specific items I’m looking for are either unavailable or at a higher price
    • The specialty markets (ie: Whole Foods) have more of the items I am looking for and the prices are comparable or better than they would be at the conventional supermarket – the problems is that the rest of their stuff is immorally overpriced
    • The ‘value specialty markets’ (ie: Trader Joe’s) provide an eclectic selection that ranges from treasures to junk
    • Some things are only available mail order – or only economical mail order

    What this means is that I have become used to buying food at 5 different stores.

    A pain in the ass – see what I mean?

    Let’s take a tour. (read the complete article…)

  • What You Should Know About Pork Production Claims | Mark’s Daily Apple

Diet…

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What I’m Reading, Thursday, June 13, 2013

On Fitness…

Articles on High Intensity Interval Excercise (HIIT)…

On Diet…

On Cooking…

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What I’m Reading, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On Diet…

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Book Review: Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

“No scientist has done more in the last fifty years to alert Americans to the potential dangers of sugar in the diet than Dr. Robert Lustig.” –Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat

FatChance_260x420

I’ve been a follower of Robert Lustig for a while now first learning about his work after reading Gray Taubes aNYT article: Is Sugar Toxic? – NYTimes.com two years ago. Since then I think there is a good chance that I have listened to every lecture or interview with him available on the internet but it was only yesterday that I finally bought his book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease which I am listening to via Audible synced with eBook on my iPad via Whispernet.

My review will be forthcoming but as I done with other books here that I haven’t yet written my personal review of I leave some links here to other reviews and interviews I think are worth reading or listening to:

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Book Review: The End of Overeating by David Kessler

the_end_of_overeating-264x400Years ago a now ex-girlfriend gave me the book The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler and while I ate the book up for it rational and reasoned look at why we have an obesity crisis in America tragically I don’t think that old girlfriend ever read it herself.

While we waiting for me to write a complete review myself here are some links to some other reviews from around the web that I consider well worth reading:

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Book Review: Why We Get Fat, and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes

Why-We-Get-Fat-270x400I still have to sit down and write my own review of Gary Taubes’ seminally important book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
but until I do here is some of the other commentary on the book from around the web that I think is well worth reading:

  • Book Review: Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes | Upgrade Your Healthstyle | Summer Tomato

    …He also does a fantastic job demolishing the currently prevailing hypothesis that dietary fat and blood cholesterol are the causes of heart disease. They aren’t.

    That so few people understand these points is why I recommend everyone read this book. It breaks my heart every time someone writes to me for nutrition advice and proudly points to their butter-less popcorn or baked chips as proof of their already “healthy” diet. Until it becomes common knowledge that fat is good for you and processed carbohydrates are the worst thing you can eat, I think this book is the best resource we have to explain it.

    Still I do not agree 100% with Taubes’ conclusions. Though I do think the evidence is overwhelming that all calories are not created equal, I disagree that calories therefore do not matter and cannot be manipulated to help with weight loss. Taubes argues that how much we eat is dependent on our hormone levels (specifically insulin levels) that regulate energy balance, and that depending on this balance we naturally regulate our feeding and energy expenditure (exercise) so that we maintain our weight.

    Taubes makes a compelling case that severe calorie restriction is counterproductive in weight management, and I agree. However there is some evidence that a small calorie deficit, on the order of 100-200 calories per day, is within the range of our natural homeostatic mechanisms and can be effective at controlling body weight….(read the complete review…)

  • (More to come Tue, Jun 11, 2013…)
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