Friday, February 08, 2008

Seven Cutting Edge Low-Carb Diet And Health Science News Stories

You keep hearing me say this, but I sincerely believe the tide is turning in favor of the healthy low-carb lifestyle. It has been rumbling in the research realm for several years and is now FINALLY spilling over into the mainstream through various media outlets. It's not an overwhelming embracing of carbohydrate restriction for weight and health management, but is certainly one step closer to acceptance.

Today I have seven cutting edge low-carb diet and health science news stories to illustrate this point. If you support livin' la vida low-carb and strongly believe that this way of eating deserves recognition for the improvements it is making in the lives of real people, then be encouraged by these and spread the word! We ARE making a difference as more and more people begin understanding how low-carb living can improve their life forever.

Here are those seven stories:

1. The "Good Carbs" Debate Focuses On Glycemic Index

The editors of Prevention magazine actually extols the virtues of watching the kind of carbohydrates that diabetics should be consuming by looking at the glycemic index. A strong case is made for paying better attention to the GI in foods, although the glycemic LOAD is much more relevant in my opinion. Nevertheless, we see that there is a clear delineation about carbohydrates being made in an MSNBC story and that's a very good thing!

2. Traditional Diabetes Study Stopped After Too Many Deaths

This New York Times story should be shocking news to anyone using traditional measures for taking on their diabetes (that would be the high-carb, low-fat dietary recommendations along with lots of insulin shots that the American Diabetes Association promoted prior to their change of heart to also encourage low-carb diets that happened this year). It turns out that a diabetes study yielded HIGHER DEATH RATES among those participants who injected themselves with multiple shots of insulin (visa vi from eating too many carbohydrates and requiring the additional injections). Many of these were from heart attacks and the researchers conducting this study were floored. This sad incident merely adds to the argument that low-carb supporters have been stating for years that higher insulin levels in the body are the REAL culprit in heart disease and NOT dietary fat. The truth is there for anyone willing to see it.

3. Long-term Low-Carb Use Reduces Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

This is a continuation of a study published in the November 9, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that I actually first blogged about previously from Harvard researchers Thomas Halton and Dr. Frank Hu looking at the long-term health impact of livin' la vida low-carb on the general population. Now they have turned their attention to Type 2 diabetics to see if consuming a low-carb diet will help or hurt their disease over the years. The results of the study are encouraging: a high-fat, low-carb diet does NOT increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women and actually "may modestly reduce the risk of diabetes." YEAH BABY! This was published in the February 2008 issue of the journal American Society for Nutrition.

4. The "Unintended Consequences" Of The Low-Fat Diet

Cause and effect should always go into any decision that we or our government leaders make because the "unintended consequences" of taking certain actions can sometimes be worse than anyone expected. Such is the case with low-fat diets in this Medical News Today story. Echoing what reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Gil Wilshire stated in June 2006 when he called for a moratorium on the low-fat dietary recommendations until more LEVEL 1 scientific evidence can be presented in support of it, Dr. Paul R. Marantz, Elizabeth Bird, and Dr. Michael H. Alderman all from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine say that "these dietary guidelines might actually be endangering health...[as] currently developed and issued." WOW! You can say that again! The most telling quote from them about how low-fat diets have failed to produce weight and health improvements over the years was this: "When the prevailing message fails to achieve its intended aims or achieves the wrong ends, the solution is not to abandon the enterprise but to reshape the message to achieve desired outcomes." Yes--and that means promoting low-carb alongside low-fat diets so that people can decide which nutritional approach will work best for them. It's time to make this happen in the United States of America! Are you listening up there in the USDA office, Dr. Wansink?

5. "What's Cooking" features Rocco DiSpirito disdaining sugar

Anyone who watches the hit NBC-TV show "The Biggest Loser" on a regular basis like me knows that famous chef Rocco DiSpirito was a guest this week during one of the challenges for the contestants. They were to create a three-course meal using Rocco's recipes and making them even more "healthy." Of course, that's code word for low-fat, low-calorie, low-salt and the dishes were judged accordingly. But Rocco appeared on a CRN Digital Talk Radio show called "What's Cooking" this week just before low-carb cooking friend and author Judy Barnes Baker and said something remarkable about "The Biggest Loser" segment I wanted to share with you. He said the producers of the show made him cook with zero fat and zero salt because they wanted to see "maximum weight loss." However, he did say at the end of his interview that anyone who thinks that sugar doesn't matter needs to realize that it provokes insulin that will make your body store fat. EXCELLENT! And I know Judy loved that perfect lead-in! :D

6. "Healthy" Foods That Aren't So Healthy

We are very fortunate to have some strong voices on behalf of low-carb living out there in the mainstream sharing their philosophy regarding diet and health with the masses. Take Adam Campbell and Cassandra Forsythe, for example. Adam writes for Men's Health magazine and recently released a fantastic book with low-carb research giant Dr. Jeff Volek from the University of Connecticut called The TNT Diet. Interestingly, Dr. Volek is Cassandra's boss as she works in the research lab pursuing her doctorate at UConn. Adam and Cassandra teamed up for a column for Men's Health again on the MSNBC site looking at the so-called "health" foods that are out there and put them in their proper place. If you've ever been on a diet before, then no doubt you have eaten at least half of the food on this list! Find out why it didn't do you a lick of good (if you didn't already know!).

7. An Atkins-Styled Low-Carb Diet Controls Seizures

Finally, we have more research confirming that livin' la vida low-carb is an excellent way to manage epileptic seizures as I've blogged about previously here and here. Johns Hopkins researchers are convinced that adults suffering from this condition should follow an Atkins-styled low-carb diet to best control their disease. The story said about a third of the participants couldn't stay on the diet because it was "too tough to do." I don't know about you, but if I could control my seizures by eating a high-fat, low-carb diet then I would probably FORCE myself to eat that way even if it wasn't as pleasurable as it is. That's just crazy to me! Thankfully, those patients who did try it and stay on it saw remarkable results. And the doctors encouraged them to stay on it for many years to come--a virtual admission that livin' la vida low-carb over the long-term ain't so unhealthy after all! Hmmmm...but we knew that already!

Got some low-carb news to share with me? Send it on anytime at

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Blogger Psipsina said...

Unfortunately, Jimmy, I don't think that most people who read the news reporting about the diabetes study are going to draw the same conclusions you and I drew from it. The NYT article begins with, "But a major federal study of more than 10,000 middle-aged and older people with Type 2 diabetes has found that lowering blood sugar actually increased their risk of death, researchers reported Wednesday."

Stupid journalists. What the study actually shows is that people who lowered their blood sugar by the methods given in the study increased their risk of death.

But what most people are going to conclude from this is that they might as well not bother controlling their blood sugar at all.

I don't think this is a victory for low-carb at all. I think that all of my obese diabetic relatives are going to start waving this article in my face to prove that they are right and I am wrong.

2/08/2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Oh I agree with you Psipsina! But that means our job is to educate diabetics on what this really means. The door of opportunity is opened.

2/08/2008 2:10 PM  
Blogger Psipsina said...

Jimmy, you're such an optimist - that's what I admire in you.

I wrote a letter to the NYT about this. 10 bucks - or a nice juicy cheeseburger, hold the bun, hold the fries - says it's never printed.

2/08/2008 2:46 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

There's no other way to be but optimistic! :D Oh, there's no way in you know where they'd print your letter. But please let me know if they have a momentary lapse from unreasonibility and do! :)

2/08/2008 3:31 PM  
Blogger Didirina said...

So the researchers were floored. Talk about insanity--doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. I'm floored that the idiot researchers and journalists can't see the problem here, as Psipsina so aptly put it. How absolutely stubborn and blind! How many knowledgeable doctors (Atkins, Schwarzbein, etc.) will they continue to ignore? The introduction to Dr. Schwarzbein's book, The Schwarzbein Principle (1999), fully explains how frustrated she was as a new doctor (an endocrinologist) at a "prestigious medical clinic" in Santa Barbara, California, with mostly Type II diabetic patients who were not getting better on the traditional ADA diet and medication recommendations. She finally gave up and decided to try another method--low carb, high fat. This was back in 1990, at least. For these doctors to be so clueless and actually claim that they don't know why this study had the tragic results it did is criminal! Do they all have lapses in their synapses? Yep, the phone lines in the metro Detroit area will be burning up with this news as my mother's very unsuccessful TOPS club members (probably the most unsuccessful chapter in the U.S.) crow and congratulate each other on knowing the truth all along. They just had a discussion the other day about how sugar has nothing whatsoever to do with diabetes, and that if your sugar is too high, just inject more insulin! I'm not exaggerating when I say that this stupid article will probably be the end of my mother.

2/08/2008 7:08 PM  
Blogger Psipsina said...

"I'm not exaggerating when I say that this stupid article will probably be the end of my mother."

I hear ya - I still hold the ADA responsible, if not for the death of mine, than at least for the misery of the last 5 to 10 years of her life.

Stupid media. I saw one article (maybe it was the Enquirer, the British one, not the American tabloid) that said, "Oh, by the way, keeping your A1c under control is still great for preventing blindness, kidney disease, and other complications of diabetes. This study only shows that diabetics who already have heart disease die faster when they employ the study protocol to reduce A1c."

And of course, that's what the study shows. Nothing more, nothing less.

2/08/2008 10:49 PM  

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