There are several layers to this and, frankly, there are some things we can’t fully explain – I’ll always acknowledge this. Take a look again at the figure below, which shows you how many calories folks are consuming on each diet and, more importantly, where those calories come from. You’ll note that people on these diets, including the strictest low-fat high-carb diets, significantly reduce their total amount of carbohydrates (therefore reducing the amount of insulin they secrete). The reason, I believe, most of these diets have some efficacy – at least in the short-term – is that they all reduce sugar and highly refined carbohydrate intake, either explicitly or implicitly.
Someone made a great point in response to my post on why fruits and vegetables are not actually necessary for good health.
I know a lot of people who eat this way and, I’ve got to say, these folks do not eat a lot of sugar or a lot of highly refined carbohydrates.
While I do plan to write an entire post on this topic of what one can and cannot conclude from an experiment, I do want to at least make the point here: The biggest single problem with nutrition “science” is that cause and effect are rarely linked correctly.
I am, to be clear, not implying this is the case for this trial, but I want you to understand why it’s important to read papers fully.
This trial, The Lifestyle Heart Trial, prospectively randomized a group of not-so-healthy patients into two treatment groups: the control group and the experimental group (or what we’d call the “treatment” or “intervention” group). First off, and perhaps most importantly from the standpoint of drawing conclusions, compliance was reported to be excellent and the differences between the groups were statistically significant on every metric, except total average caloric intake. Take a moment to look over the rest of the table (or just skip reading it since I’m going to keep talking about it anyway). Though not shown in this table, the experimental group also reported less chest pain severity (though chest pain frequency and duration were not statistically different). Let’s take a leap of faith and hypothesize that the dietary intervention (rather than, say, the social support) had the greatest impact on the measured parameters in the subjects.  It’s certainly the most likely factor in my mind.  But what, exactly, can I conclude? People don’t like to be hungry, and if they are reducing their caloric intake by reducing fat intake, they seldom find themselves satiated. Semi-starvation reduces basal metabolic rate, so your body actually adjusts to the “new” norm and slows down its rate of mobilizing internal fat stores. I argue that reduction of fat intake has nothing to do with it and that the reduction of total calories has a transient effect. It’s *really* tough to study this stuff properly, especially compared to studying things blood pressure lowering pills, which are complex in their own right, but MUCH easier to control in a study. A nutrition department of a university accepts funds from a company that makes confectionery. Do you think the Academy’s supporters want to hear that if you eliminate their products you will no longer need to rely on the products provided by the biggest supporters of the Diabetic Association? Pretty much solely because of their report, Suzuki was forced to eventually withdraw the Samurai from production in the US although they later won the lawsuit that was filed as a result of the forged report by showing videos from the actual testing of the car conducted by CR.
Ironically, the fact that CR had to admit it was faked somehow wasn’t plastered all over their magazines and the front pages of a bunch of newspapers.
At that point, everything they publish became suspect and may as well line a birdcage somewhere. Peter, I have a coworker who has recently lost 80lbs over the course of a year on weight watchers. Looking forward to your next post, and of course people's comments for the current one! I will discuss all of this in great detail, hopefully in the coming month, when I do a post on PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids). Anyway, it’s nice to discover someone who takes the Taubes viewpoint on things, and also takes the time to actually post online about it with some frequency, so thanks! Oh absolutely, I was mostly referring to the fact that most of the excess carbs we eat are converted to palmitic acid, which is a SFA. There was an (1) average protein, low fat group (65% CHO), (2) High protein, low fat group , (3) Average protein, high fat, and (4) high protein, high fat (35% CHO). Thanks very much, Bob, both for the kind comments and for sharing the other data with folks. The Heart of the Matter: What Does America Really Know about Coronary Artery Disease Treatments? Reducing fat in your diet? Benefit of replacing saturated fat with vegetable oils was overestimated! To learn more about putting your diabetes in remission, call 952 835 2132 and talk to a Registered Dietitian about your specific situation. Knowledge of appropriate foods and beverages needed for weight loss and diet of patients in an obesity clinic Kaufer-Horwitz, M., et al.
If someone you love is trying to lose weight, you want to support their efforts to get healthy. Oh Halloween – what a fun time: Parties and costumes and trick-or-treaters and brightly colored sweets everywhere!
A recent study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that weight loss results from low carb and low fat diets were similar after one year.
National physical activity experts report that workers today are burning an average of 120 to 140 fewer calories a day than workers in the 1960s.
Your body can absorb the nutrients in the food more readily, since it is broken down better. A British study shows taking a short, brisk walk can reduce the amount of snacking you do at work. February is Heart Health Month, which makes it a great time for individuals to evaluate their lifestyle and how it may be contributing to or harming their heart’s wellbeing. We Minnesotans are used to the snow and cold of winter, but this season has seemed especially brutal, hasn't it? The below-zero windchills and heavy snow make it feel easier to stay indoors and eat at our desk than to go out or go home for lunch. Dieting can be frustrating when the scale is not showing a decrease in pounds or the weight is not staying off. Here's another great OPTIFAST success story!In her late twenties, Elizabeth began taking a new medication which caused her to rapidly gain weight. Researchers have found that people who are overweight have an increased risk of loss in brain volume, which could translate to decreased mental function later in life. If you need a little extra help keeping track of your daily food intake and planning meals, we have some technology suggestions that can help! The habit of snacking appears to be more common now than several decades ago, and it could be affecting people's waistlines.


A study found that if you are over the age of 35, drinking two cups of water before every meal is an effective weight management tool. You may have heard in the news recently that the American Medical Association designated obesity as a disease.
Patients and friends have been telling me about using these "milks" for their morning shakes. Are you noshing at lunch in front of your computer?  It is interesting to note that, people who eat lunch at in front of a computer are likely to eat more within 30 minutes vs. Join us this Saturday to discuss the different strategies about what to do in those tough scenarios like eating out whether you are on full fast or modified fast.
That said, many of the successes (at least weight-wise, though hopefully by now you realize there is much more to health than just body composition) of popular diets can be explained by a few simple observations.
You can argue that those who are overweight probably consume an even greater amount of carbohydrates. Even the Ornish diet, which is the most restrictive diet with respect to fat and most liberal with respect to carbohydrates, still reduces carbohydrate intake by about 40% from what people were likely eating pre-diet. No one on the Ornish Diet or Jenny Craig Diet is eating candy bars and potato chips, at least not if they are adhering to it. The point was, essentially, that telling people to eat 5-6 servings per day of fruits and vegetables can hopefully drive a beneficial substitution effect. I have no intention of engaging in a battle with proponents of plant-based eating or no-saturated-fat diets.
Stated another way, it’s one thing to observe an outcome, but it’s quite another to conclude the actual cause of that outcome.
In other words, for every intended difference between the groups a difference existed, except that on average they ate the same number of calories (though obviously from very different sources), which was not intended to be different as both groups were permitted to eat ad libitum – meaning as much as they wanted. Ornish’s study?  I think the reduction in sugar and simple carbohydrates played the largest single role in the improvements experienced by the experimental group, but I can’t prove it from this study any more than one can prove a low-fat vegetarian diet is the “best” diet.  We can only conclude that it’s better than eating Twinkies and potato chips which, admittedly, is a good thing to know. And, the majority of the benefit folks receive comes from the reduction of sugars and highly refined carbohydrates. Case in point…they recently reported that olive oil is not good for you because it does not contain omega 6. 3, has a good point about some plans (including WW) having the advantage of group support, which I think is a very major confounder. It is wonderful to watch these people glow once they have found some sort of solution to their weight problem.
One of my favorite things to say to people who are scared of saturated fat is that even on an entirely plant based diet, (ala Ornish Diet), if they are restricting their caloric intake, their bodies will be running on the saturated (animal) fat that they have stored on themselves. For example the degree of unsaturated fatty acids in our membrane bilayer probably plays a role in our insulin sensitivity, just as one example. The holiday season is no exception and is actually a great opportunity to show them how much you care. It is easy to make poor food choices when faced with all those sugar-covered treats — especially at Halloween parties.
Also, the food is exposed for a longer period of time to enzymes in your mouth that help break down fat, improving digestion. The Framingham Cohort Study looked at the health of 5,036 people living in the United States. If you are planning a vacation, do you map out the route or program it into your GPS before you get in the car? Croix Orthopaedics, every 15 pounds of excess weight puts 100 pounds more pressure on the body's joints. Be mindful, though, that eating your lunch at your desk can have negative consequences for your diet.When we eat at our desks, we are often distracted by email, phone calls and other interruptions.
They claim this forces the body to use its fat reserves for fuel instead of the carbohydrates quickly available from a pre-workout meal or snack.
Focus instead on getting a much more manageable 30 minutes of exercise, five times per week. The problem is that we consume most of our protein at dinner time when we should be eating the most protein during breakfast to start off our day. The study included a control group, a group of subjects who ate three high-protein meals each day, and a third group who ate high-protein meals six times a day.
We have all been in that situation where we have been invited out to go celebrate a birthday party, anniversary, you name it.
But for the purpose of simplicity, let’s assume even the folks who go on these diets are consuming the national average of approximately 450 grams of carbohydrate per day (in compliance with governmental recommendations, as a percent of overall intake). If you tell someone who eats Twinkies, potato chips, and candy bars all day to eat more fruit (and they do), you’ve almost guaranteed an improvement in their health if they eat bananas and apples instead of the aforementioned junk food.
I’m reasonably confident that the proponents of these diets are good people who really want to help others and have nothing but the best intentions.
Ornish was the principle investigator on a trial published in the journal The Lancet in 1990. In other words, there were not enough subjects in the study to determine a difference in these “hard” outcomes, so we can’t make a conclusion about such events, only the changes in “soft” outcomes. Good science, bad interpretationGravity and insulin: the dynamic duoIf low carb eating is so effective, why are people still overweight? His clinical interests are nutrition, lipidology, endocrinology, and a few other cool things.
Eg, the criticism of the Ornish Lifestyle Heart Trial is excellent (and I LOVED the kitten-stroking quip), and really could and should have stood alone.
After short diologue with her on the particulars of her daily intake I quickly realized her consumption of carbohydrate was significantly reduced and eliminated almost all fructose. Warren, founder of Physicians Healthy Weight Clinic in North Hampton and Dover, has been helping patients lose weight and keep it off for 10 years.A  Warren switched from family medicine to obesity medicine when she decided to treat the root cause rather than the symptoms of so many preventable diseases. But it’s still completely possible to enjoy yourself at the party, without going overboard on empty calories. Often we consume our meals quickly without thinking about them, enjoying them or even really tasting them.
After years of being confined to a wheelchair due to her weight, she was able to reclaim her life.
The review found that consuming dairy products was related to increased insulin production, a healthier body weight and decreased body fat.


The carbohydrate is partly from lactose (milk sugar), which is digested differently than sucrose.
Popularity, of course, was determined by a number of factors, including compliance with current government recommendations (sorry Atkins), number of people who have tried the diet, and reported success on the diets. That doesn’t mean bananas and apples are “good for you” – it just means they are less “bad for you.” Here’s the kicker, though. But that doesn’t mean we can or should overlook the errors being made in drawing their conclusions. I’m not discounting soft outcomes, only pointing out the distinction for folks not familiar with them. They never factor in that the chicken was breaded or that when someone ate steak or fish they had a large amount of bread of potatoes along with it. Excess body fat can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, osteoarthritis, depression, stroke and certain cancers.A  She struggled with her own weight after her pregnancies, trying over-the-counter supplements and popular diets. Here are some of the best (and worst) gift ideas for your loved ones working towards a healthier lifestyle. These include irregular sleep patterns and unhealthful diets in addition to extended periods of inactivity. We’re led to believe that the reason such folks get leaner and more healthy is because they are eating more fruits or more vegetables or more grains or more [fill-in-the-blank], rather than because they eliminated the most egregious offenders from their diet.
Ornish personally, and I can only assume that he is a profoundly caring physician who has dedicated his life to helping people live better lives. But as always, I STRONGLY encourage folks with access (or folks who are willing to purchase it) to read the paper in its entirety. Weight management was hardly taught when she attended Tufts University School of Medicine in the 1990s.
A study in an obesity clinic examined the relationship between knowledge of appropriate foods and beverages needed for weight loss and the actual diet of patients seeking obesity treatment. For people who don’t want to read the study completely, or who may not have much experience reading clinical papers, I want to devote some time to digging into this paper. The end conclusion is the whole thing must be bad and therefore needs to be reduced or outright expunged from the diet. I recall hearing Gary talking about his discussion with a participant from the Biggest loser on Larry King and the rapant weight gain after the show.
The study found that although the patients recognized what an appropriate diet plan included, they did not consume an appropriate diet for weight loss.
It’s hard to tell if this change was statistically significant by inspection, so you glance at the p-value which tells you it was not. That is one big difference I’ve noticed between studies cited by writers who want to condemn the entire diet consumed by Americans vs those who look at it with a more in depth eye and realize that certain components are the problem not the whole diet across the board. Treatment approaches should include tools that help patients implement their nutrition knowledge. Why did the people in the China Study who ate more plants do better than those who ate more animals (assuming they did)? Well, for starters, reading abstracts, hearing CNN headlines, or reading about studies in the NY Times doesn’t actually give you enough information to really understand if the results are applicable to you.
Parenthetically, if you actually want the answer to this question, beyond my peripheral address, below, please read Denise Minger’s categorically brilliant analysis of the study. Beyond this reason, and let me be uncharacteristically blunt, just because a study is published in a medical journal it does not imply that is worth the paper it is printed on. A The good news is you can shed pounds while still eating delicious food - without hunger, cravings, or crankiness.A Counter-intuitive as it may sound, the key to losing and maintaining weight is continuing to cook, eat, and enjoy food. Steve Rosenberg, once told me that a great number of published studies are never again cited (I forget the exact number, but it was staggering, over 50%). Translation: whatever they published was of such little value that no one ever made reference to it again. The thing is, it is possible to eliminate wheat and still eat way too many carbs (can we say ice cream?).
A a€?I dona€™t recommend the so-called a€?sumo dietinga€™ strategy of not eating all day and then overeating at night," Warren says, pointing out that this is how the heavy-weight wrestlers actually gain pounds.
A a€?Going all day without eating results in low blood sugar, which can induce cravings and a loss of self-control." A The same can happen, though, when sugary, processed foods dominate your intake throughout the day. According to a study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a diet of high-glycemic index foods made overweight test subjects feel hungrier and have more cravings than subjects ingesting low-glycemic foods. I’m now happily in ketosis, and the best part is, I know the WHY of weight loss now, how totally liberating and hope giving. But she also points out that certain foods can improve your sense of fullness - ones with protein, fiber, or high water content (such as melon, and salad).
A a€?They trigger neurochemical changes that help us feel happy and full."A That in turn, helps when you do sit down to a beautifully prepared meal. A a€?Many people find that eating healthfully throughout the day helps them control their appetite and portions,a€? Warren says. A Not that you need to control the portions of low calorie-dense foods such as greens, broccoli and other vegetables. A If you know from past experience that you cana€™t stop, limit your exposure - only eat chocolate with a friend when youa€™re out, she says - so a€?you can feel happy, guilt free, and in control."A i»?CLICK HERE TO READ DR. Warren as a physician who practices what she preaches, and includes a number of real-life food recommendations. I played tennis, taught swimming, rowed crew in college.A If I ever felt I needed to lose ten pounds, I exercised more.
Thirteen years ago, I wasA skiing with my brother, who had lost a leg to cancer, and this was his firstA time out. Ia€™ll have a Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of peanut butter or a few cocoa-coated almonds mixed in. I prefer substitution to deprivation.When we have ice cream in the freezer, I wrap it in two plastic grocery bags.



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