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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study 588

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-pry-my-cereal-from-my-cold,-dead-hands dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports on a new study (abstract) showing that low-carb diets have better health benefits than low-fat diets in a test without calorie restrictions. "By the end of the yearlong trial, people in the low-carbohydrate group had lost about eight pounds more on average than those in the low-fat group. They had significantly greater reductions in body fat than the low-fat group, and improvements in lean muscle mass — even though neither group changed their levels of physical activity. While the low-fat group did lose weight, they appeared to lose more muscle than fat. They actually lost lean muscle mass, which is a bad thing,' Dr. Mozaffarian said. 'Your balance of lean mass versus fat mass is much more important than weight. And that's a very important finding that shows why the low-carb, high-fat group did so metabolically well.' ... In the end, people in the low-carbohydrate group saw markers of inflammation and triglycerides — a type of fat that circulates in the blood — plunge. Their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, rose more sharply than it did for people in the low-fat group. Blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, stayed about the same for people in each group."
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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise is better than any fad diet.

    • by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:21AM (#47805697)

      So, in a word: a low fad diet?

      • by Wootery (1087023) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:45AM (#47805849)

        A low fad lifestyle, strictly speaking.

        • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

          A low fad lifestyle, strictly speaking.

          Don't forget though, that the high carbohydrate/low fat diet is in itself a fad.

          And veganism is completely unnatural and artificial for humans. We're designed for protein, fat, complex carbs, starchy carbs, sugar, and small rocks, in that order.

          • by Wootery (1087023) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:58AM (#47807007)

            And veganism is completely unnatural and artificial for humans.

            It is fortunate, then, that vegans aren't claiming otherwise.

            There's a difference between denying the diet of our evolutionary ancestors, and having a problem with the way animals are treated in modern farms. I'm surprised by how often I have to point this out.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by cayenne8 (626475)

              There's a difference between denying the diet of our evolutionary ancestors, and having a problem with the way animals are treated in modern farms. I'm surprised by how often I have to point this out.

              It is pretty easy these days, to buy meat from local farms which treat the animals in more humane ways, yet still many of the vegan types say that isn't sufficient that NO animals should be sacrificed, even humanely, for human consumption.

    • by Tx (96709) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:45AM (#47805843) Journal

      Easy to make such glib statements, but the whole point is to find out what is the ideal balanced diet. Both the groups in this study were eating all the things you'd include in your balanced diet, however the low carb group took a greater proportion of their calories in the form of fat, whereas the low fat group too a greater proportion in the form of carbs.

    • Were is the science that backs your theory?

      • Check a biology text book.
      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:16AM (#47806591)

        Were is the science that backs your theory?

        The whole situation is a little complex, but we might start out with what we evolved to deal with. This seems to work with wild animals. It is obvious in the case of frank carnivores, and frank herbivores. Horses seldom seek out a juicy steak, and Cheetas don't often beg for loaves of bread.

        With omnivores like humans, it is a little more complex. We're designed to eat a lot of different things.

        So what has happened? Why do people have so much trouble maintaining a healthy weight?

        Ever since I can remember, we have been bombarded by th e concept that there is a scale of healthy eating, and that elimination of as much fat as possible is desirable, and the ne plus ultra of healthy living is veganism, followed by vegatarianism, then low fat/high carb, then the unwashed masses of high protein, and the soulles spawn of Satan - the Atkinists.

        So here's one citation from the NIH:

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm... [nih.gov] Less central obesity in men consuming a high milk fat diet. It's a narrow study, but interesting.

        Here's one from Harvard. An opinion piece, but well done:

        http://www.foodandnutritionres... [foodandnut...search.net]

        Here's a nice link with references.

        http://authoritynutrition.com/... [authoritynutrition.com]

        I tried a low fat vegetarian diet for a time in the very late 80's, specifically, I ate eggs for protein, otherwise, all "healthy" veggies and starches.

        Aside from being hungry all the time, losing only 2 pounds, and having my GI tract all bitched up for months, it was awesome. After 6 months, I gave up and ate a nice juicy medium rare steak. In around a week, I was back to feeling normal,

        Interestingly enough, my parents ate probably 4 times the fat I did. And had absolutely no weight problem at all.

        Where did we go wrong? Just an educated guess on my part:

        Bread and pasta. That stuff is awesome and versatile. It's also a great way to fill a person up with not much more than empty calories.

        Sugar. Likewise great tasting stuff. But seriously, just how fucked up is it that we as a nation are debating how Mexican Pepsi is healthier than US Pepsi? It's sugar asswipes.

        Now the latest and weirdest one. Soybeans. Seen how many American men have tits now? Even ones who aren't obese?

        Our friend the phytoestrogen, brought to you by soybeans and peas. And we are consuming a whole lot more of that stuff than we should. And I'm not certain that the rise of testosterone supplements isn't a backwards way of trying to treat men with bitched up hormone levels.

        • by MattskEE (925706)

          Ever since I can remember, we have been bombarded by th e concept that there is a scale of healthy eating, and that elimination of as much fat as possible is desirable, and the ne plus ultra of healthy living is veganism, followed by vegatarianism, then low fat/high carb, then the unwashed masses of high protein, and the soulles spawn of Satan - the Atkinists.

          You seem older than I and so our perspectives are a bit different. I started cooking my own food around 10 years ago. I always got the impression t

    • Because a balanced diet, according to the USDA, has minimal fat and a high load of grain. Our recommended balanced diet is primarily starch, and a minimum of fat.
      • by edmudama (155475)

        Yea. The obesity epidemic in the US correlates strongly to the publication of our food pyramid recommendations by the USDA.

        Prior to that, obesity affected a very small number of people in the US.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:17AM (#47805667)

    Simply eat what your body needs... beyond that, exercise. That is why people are getting fat. Not because they're eating too much but because they're not doing anything.

    Look at what Michael Phelps ate. Something like three pizzas a day or something. And he was in great health at the time. Won Olympic gold medals and everything.

    The diet is the wrong way around to solve a problem. Which is how to stay healthy without exercising. Now maybe there is a diet that does that but most of them say "oh and exercise"... well, if you exercise the rest isn't important.

    • by Shaman (1148) <{ten.sok} {ta} {namahs}> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:20AM (#47805687) Homepage

      Anyone that has tried to exercise and eat what they want can tell you that it doesn't work. You also need to eat fairly cleanly. Phelps is like 7 feet tall, extremely active, very muscular and was taking both legal and not-so-legal supplements. You can't equate the nutrition needs of someone working out 2+ hours a day doing high-impact strength and endurance training with your average person.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BringsApples (3418089)
        When people have a strong will, they are healthy. It's what it takes to have a strong will, that's the secret to life. Health is the result of living in some sort of self-designed balance between activity and rest - but there's more that's going on than activity or rest, because there's a part of us that's never active, and never at rest. Sometimes simply directing your will to do some job (temporary or not) will give you an insight into health and what it is.

        All this hyped-up talk about what to eat i
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:15AM (#47806581) Homepage

          When people have a strong will, they are healthy.

          Sorry, that's complete nonsense. The reality is that few people over the age of about 30 have a fully working, fully healthy body. Stuff goes wrong and it has nothing to do with will power, it's just genetic defects, the lasting effects of illness, accidents and age. Some people are lucky, some are not and telling the unlucky ones that they just need more "will power" is both insulting and unhelpful.

          Careful selection of foods can have a huge impact of many people. I suffer from CFS and a diet that specifically supports the parts of my body that don't work very well any more really helps. The CFS developed as the result of an infection, it was nothing to do with my "will power" and no amount of will can snap me out of it.

      • by Assmasher (456699)

        I think that generally speaking what you're saying is accurate, but it does depend upon what you do during the day.

        I used to run 6 miles every day at lunch (this was when I worked down in Mill Valley/Sausalito so running was fun) and I could eat lots of whatever I wanted - and I did.

        How I miss May Lee's kung pao chicken, San Jose La Taqueria (on 4th street San Rafael?) chorizo super burritos, Dave's quesadillas and tamales in Corte Madera, and Max's fries and caramelized brie sandwich.

        That stuff would give

      • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:58AM (#47807013)

        Anyone that has tried to exercise and eat what they want can tell you that it doesn't work.

        THIS. Some people just have better regulating systems in their bodies -- either they have better genes, or they good about recognizing when they are full and stopping eating, or they have strong willpower, or they naturally gravitate toward eating things that their bodies will regulate well... or some sort of combination.

        But the simple fact is that -- unless you're a professional athlete or a manual laborer who does REALLY hard work for many hours per day -- chances are dietary inputs have a MUCH greater impact on weight than exercise.

        I know there are people here who will chime in and say "all calories are not the same" and that's true. But we can at least use calories as an approximation. It takes VERY little imbalance for your body to get way out of whack. Say you eat enough that your body stores an extra 100 calories per day. Roughly speaking, about 3500 calories will equal a pound of fat. If you maintain this, you'll gain about a pound per month. Do this for a few years, and you could end up 50 pounds overweight... all because of an extra 100 calories per day.

        Now, think about what it would take to correct that extra 100 calories per day. In terms of exercise, that's roughly running a mile, or doing some other sort of less vigorous workout for a longer period.

        But in terms of eating, 100 calories can be pretty small. That's less than a typical can of soda. Or a SMALL cookie. Or a tablespoon of butter or mayo. Did you squeeze an extra packet of mayo on your sandwich today? That could be your 100 calories.

        So, roughly speaking, which is easier to correct? Refrain from squeezing that extra packet of mayo, or running a mile every day? If you start talking in terms of real desserts -- like a large cookie or a piece of cake or a bowl of ice cream, you can easily get to 300-700 calories. If you eat dessert most days, you'd have to run 3-7 miles to correct for that.

        Of course -- it's not quite that simple. Different types of calories will produce greater or lesser feelings of fullness. Protein and fats seem to be better at reducing hunger than carbs are (in general -- again, this is speaking very roughly), which is probably the reason for the results seen in this study. So, chances are if you have the right balance of foods in your diet, you'll be less likely to accumulate that 100 calorie/day excess or whatever, because you'll feel more full without eating more.

        Anyhow, that's all in the details. My general point is: it takes a lot more work to offset extra caloric input through exercise than it does to just eat a little less. If you stop and buy the giant cinnamon bun in the mornings with a large latte, you may have already consumed more calories than a typical large steak dinner. And when a single cinnamon bun or a large dessert might be 800 calories or more, offsetting that with exercise would be just insane.

    • by rcharbon (123915) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:21AM (#47805695) Homepage
      All Michael Phelps did was eat, sleep, exercise, and do bong hits. The typical Slashdotter, with his monitor tan, should not use him as a guideline.
    • Too simple (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:30AM (#47805765) Journal

      That is a bit too simple. Lots of modern food contains so much energy that our internal alarm switches are blown off-line. Therefore, you don't feel full anymore and you keep eating. That is called Insulin resistance (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] ) It is hard to overeat on apples. It is easy to overeat on sweets.

      Off course, the food industry just loves to create food that makes you keep eating, because that will also make you buy more of it. That is why even organic meat contains sugar and all kinds of syrup nowadays. The first step to a healthy life is to eat real food.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        That is why even organic meat contains sugar and all kinds of syrup nowadays.

        Uh, what? Only processed foods, and then frankly, almost none of them. The lack of unnecessary ingredients is part of the draw to most Organic brands. Only the fake-ass organics like "O" (Safeway's brand) are full of bullshit like that.

        • by neurovish (315867)

          That is why even organic meat contains sugar and all kinds of syrup nowadays.

          Uh, what? Only processed foods, and then frankly, almost none of them. The lack of unnecessary ingredients is part of the draw to most Organic brands. Only the fake-ass organics like "O" (Safeway's brand) are full of bullshit like that.

          There isn't any regulation around "unneccesary ingredients" in regards to organic foods. It mostly just means they aren't GMO and have used approved fertilizers and pesticides, which are about as toxic as the synthetic ones. Organic lunchmeat is still organic as long as the sugar and syrup it's loaded with is also organic.

          http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal... [usda.gov]

          Doesn't say anything about "no additives", only that any additives need to follow the same certification.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            There isn't any regulation around "unneccesary ingredients" in regards to organic foods.

            Straw man.

      • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:05AM (#47805995) Homepage

        " It is hard to overeat on apples."

        It's because fruit has a built in regulation system, eat 8 apples, and your system will do a high pressure speed purge out the other end. I ate 2 pints of blueberries once... I spent the evening on the toilet afraid to leave it.

        • I ate three bowls of Grape Nuts one day.

          I spent the next morning shitting razor blades.

          Who knew Grape Nuts contain tiny razor blades.

    • Interestingly, you are using a topnotch athlete's condition to apply to the rest of us. In the criticisms so far applied, they left out age.

      More appropriately, try cutting down on carbs and focus less on fat.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      He was also young and a world class athlete. Telling people to be like Phelps isn't very helpful. From my experience, solving weight issues is easier through diet than exercise. Food, mostly high fat and high sugar food, is everywhere. We live in a world of super overabundance, and it's hard for many people to turn down cupcakes and brownies at every turn. If you looked up the calories for all those things you've been eating, you'd know you can't just work off an extra 2 or 3 thousand calories each and ever
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I think the problem is that most people lie or are overestimating how much exercise they do. The human body is a pretty remarkable machine, we are very efficient when walking and running. Our biology is designed for it. So you won't burn that many calories by going for a walk or a slow jog. I find it amazing how slow some people can jog, and still think like they are getting a good work out.

        From a quick Google search, it looks like 10,000 steps a day will burn 3500 Calories A WEEK. That's only an extr
    • I recently lost 40+ pounds in ~6 months using Atkins and no exercise (just started exercising this week). I'm 46.

      My takeaways:
      1. If calories in calories burned, you'll lose weight.
      2. The hardest part about that is controlling appetite.
      3. The best way to control appetite is with a low carb diet.

      This is the second time I did Atkins. The first time (10 years ago), I lost 60+ pounds in 6 months and I exercised 5 days a week. A guy at my gym had a shirt that read "Look great naked! 90% diet, 10% exercise" and t

      • by tmosley (996283)
        I can back this up. I've had the exact same experience. Induction/ketosis is probably the greatest single body hack ever invented. I lose a pound a day so long as I stay on it, though I have fallen off multiple times and it takes me a few days to get back on.
      • by hodet (620484)

        How do you handle eating low carb for extended periods? Meat, cheese, eggs, pork rinds. I knew a guy that lost 100lbs eating like that. Other things as well, not just those foods, but the key was to keep his carbs at about 30gm as day.

        I am lucky, high metabolism and eat a healthy diet anyway, but I could not imagine eating heavy type foods like that in those quantities.

      • While I cannot vouch for the Atkins diet as I've not tried it, each of the many times I've done p90x and lost weight, I've found it's about the 80/20 rule as well. You can only burn so many calories actively exercising. Though it is important, you'll fight a very uphill battle unless diet is healthy as well.

        One "trick" I found when trying to control appetite when you are getting proper nutrition is to eat foods that satiate you, keep you full. Drinking lots of water, eating carrots and apples, etc. The
    • by DogDude (805747)
      No, you have it backwards. A single soda is about 300 calories, which would take most people about 2.5-3 miles of running/walking to burn off. It's relatively impractical to think that one can exercise off the calories consumed from a bad diet. It's much easier to change one's diet.
      • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:12AM (#47806061) Journal

        I agree with your statement but what people *need* to understand about exercise is that its not really about the calories you burn while you are doing its about your overall metabolism.

        If you say go hiking most weekends in summer and cross country skiing most weekends in winter, you are going to have a great deal more muscle tissue on your legs are arms than someone who spends their weekends in front of their xbone. You will also have cardio-pulmonary development to support sustained high output.

        That muscle tissue and elevated metabolism is going to sit there burning more calories during the week while you sit in the office at your desk. So in the context of exercising to lose weight its not really about the energy expenditure in performing the direct act, its about about turning your body to "run hotter".

    • by haruchai (17472)

      Up until my late twenties, that worked fine for me but the further into my 30s, the more I had to watch how much I ate and when despite keeping active.
      A young man's metabolism can be a wonderful thing, but it doesn't last forever.

    • by sjbe (173966)

      Simply eat what your body needs... beyond that, exercise. That is why people are getting fat. Not because they're eating too much but because they're not doing anything.

      That's not nearly as easy as you so casually make it sound.

      Look at what Michael Phelps ate. Something like three pizzas a day or something. And he was in great health at the time. Won Olympic gold medals and everything.

      Michael Phelps is a professional athlete who worked out at a high intensity for 3-6 hours every day. I assure you that no one reading this is doing workouts anywhere close to what he did because it is not our job. You could not find an example which is less similar to the life most people have or want to have. I had a coach in college who was an Olympic gold medalist. I've seen what it takes up close and I'm pretty sure you haven't. It's not g

    • by hodet (620484)

      It's math. Burn more calories than you consume. Impossible when watching 40hrs or TV a week stuffing your face with crap.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:03AM (#47805983) Homepage

      The other problem is that cheap food is full of crap and calories that are not needed. all foods should have the calories and servings printed in large print on the front.

      Many poor people will eat an entire box of mac and cheese dinner for a meal, that is 1450 calories if prepared with skim milk or powdered milk. That is an UNGODLY amount of calories for a single meal, and they will feel hungry in 1 hour because it's all empty calories with no fiber or substance to it.

      If all someone eats is the pre-packaged processed crap in boxes, they will gain weight because a sane calorie amount of that meal is so small, they will over eat because they think they are eating a sensible meal but in reality the calorie count of the pre-packaged crap is sky high and not printed in big letters on the front.

      • You clearly are not a consumer of cheap food. The point of those meals is that they have calories. The same people that buy them could very easily buy something as cheap or cheaper without calories.

        The point of those meals is that they are very cheap and have a lot of calories. A single frozen pizza for example has all the calories you need to live for an entire day... if not more. And at a cost of about 5-8 USD.

        As to this notion that people don't know how many calories are in the food... yeah they do. Firs

    • The diet is the wrong way around to solve a problem. Which is how to stay healthy without exercising. Now maybe there is a diet that does that but most of them say "oh and exercise"... well, if you exercise the rest isn't important.

      That's really not true. You are correct that exercise is an integral part of being healthy. But what you eat is just as important. If you do an hour of cardio a day and weight train, but eat McDonald's french fries and milkshakes you will not realize the benefits of your exercise. Will you be better off than someone who eats the same but doesn't exercise? Sure, but you will not be better off than the person who exercises and eats lean meats, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. The lean meat

      • stop it with the whole grains. Whole grains are still just grains. Maybe with a tiny bit of nutrients and some fiber that the refined don't have but still produce a tremendous glycemic load. The point of the study is that whole grains should be avoided. All carbs should be avoided. Don't attempt to conflate grains with meat and vegetables, they don't belong in the same class of food, that is what the study under discussion meant to separate.

    • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @09:12AM (#47806545) Homepage
      Please don't assume that the diet of an Olympic athlete consuming ~12,000 calories a day has any relevance to what is a generally healthy diet for you.
  • by CaptainDork (3678879) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:32AM (#47805771)

    ... they have that gasoline taste.

  • I'm quite sure it flashed around here some time ago.
  • by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:34AM (#47805789)

    What kind of diet did they start from? If the participants were typical Americans, it was probably something that was very heavy in sugar and other refined carbohydrates; more so that in fat, if I'm not mistaken, so cutting down on carbohydrates is no doubt the most important improvement to the diet one could make. Cutting back on fat would probably be the next, big step.

    It is sometimes hard to remember just how extreme the typical Western diet is; it is perhaps particularly visible to me, because I have completely stopped drinking sweet drinks (including fruit juices and artificially sweetened drinks). Now I find I can't get through a whole glass of Coke - it's just too much, but only a few years ago I could drink whole liters of the crap.

    As others have remarked, there is no need to follow any special diet, just stop eating and drinking crap. Of course, with the selection available, that in itself is actually not easy.

    • by ameen.ross (2498000) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:47AM (#47805871)

      The whole point of studies such as this is to find out exactly what is the crap that you need to avoid, really. That part certainly isn't common knowledge.

      • by hodet (620484)

        I would think fruits, vegetables, grains and meat/protein products that come from one mother are good stuff. Water is the only beverage your body needs. The rest starts bordering on crap.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I would think

          Studies like these are how we end up with less of the 'I would think' and more of the 'we are pretty certain and here is why...'. You probably are right of course - but that's not the same as knowing for sure. Nor does it give any kind of thought about in what kind of ratio's one could best eat food. Lots of grains with a few vegetables is probably not so good as few grains with lots of vegetables.

      • This study allows writing a hypothesis, but doesn't actually provide us much in the way of scientific knowledge.

        This study really does tell us very little, except that they don't know how nutrition variables affect health outcomes. They don't have any idea why the one group lost weight over the year of the study, and there is no long term result (i.e. over your lifetime). There also aren't any details about the kind of LDL. The summary is either intentionally misleading or the submitter didn't read the whol

    • by trout007 (975317)

      This is just my personal experience but I went from eating a heavy refined sugar and carbs to a high fat diet and everything improved with the exception of LDL.

    • Perhaps they meant a change from the old food pyramid:

      http://www.powerprooatmeal.com... [powerprooatmeal.com]

      Growing up the mantra I remember that the mantra was to avoid fat at all costs because duh... eating fat would make you fat. However, you could eat pretty much as much grain as you want (with no distinction made for refined grains and/or sugar).

    • by asylumx (881307)

      I have completely stopped drinking sweet drinks (including fruit juices and artificially sweetened drinks).

      Just want to point out, I think this is the big thing that everyone seems to miss. You can cut out soda all you want, but fruit juice can be just as bad for you and you should cut back on it, too. It is chock full of calories and sugars and sometimes acids -- Orange Juice has the same effect on your teeth as Coke, for example.

  • The abstract lists significant % changes for the low-carb group - but doesn't show the numbers for the low-fat group. If the change is significant but tiny then it may as well be insignificant.

  • Just restrict calories. I lost the most weight doing that. I was eating 2200 calories a day and I was never hungry except when I woke up in the morning. After mastering the calories, I went to restricting sodium and increasing protein while decreasing carbs. Just one step at a time. It eventually became habit. Exercising is a must to maintain (or increase) lean tissue. The net result should be fat loss.

    • by tmosley (996283)
      No, it isn't. Restricting calories leaves you hungry, which is utterly ruinous. Low carb, high fat decreases your appetite naturally. After being on low carb for a few months, I am completely satisfied by a small salad and a small steak, where I used to be and eat like a big tubby fat-ass.
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:45AM (#47805841) Homepage

    People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades [emphasis mine -mi], a major new study shows.

    A person can choose to eat this or that and it is his own responsibility. But, when the government decides, what's good for you (based on some "settled" science [wsj.com]), it not only affects citizenry's opinion and makes us less responsible for ourselves, it also leaves millions directly controlled by the government — such as pupils in government schools [nytimes.com] — without choices at all.

    Now, I don't doubt, that some of the stuff removed from schools by our omni-scient and caring Congressmen [usda.gov] will never be considered good for anyone again. But they still force fat-free chocolate milk on kids, for example, in seeming contradiction to this new study. Maybe, both ought to be available — and parents, rather than the Federal government, be allowed to control the children's nutrition?

    Sadly, the movement seems to be in the wrong direction. Some parents are already being punished for children eating incorrectly [yu.edu]. And though in this case (200+ pound 8 year old), it is fairly obvious, that the parents are, indeed, screwy, it is likely to be a "poster-boy" for future interventions in cases less and less obvious.

  • What is essential (Score:4, Informative)

    by manu0601 (2221348) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:50AM (#47805881)

    Polyinsaturated fats (omega 3 and omega 6) are essential. The body cannot produce them, and they are required for major functions. Cutting fat means starving the body for something it needs

    On the other hand, carbs are just fuel, and we can create glucose from amino acids if we need some.

  • Does anyone know if its possible to eat a low carb diet as a vegetarian?
  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:12AM (#47806057)

    A couple months ago, I posted a detail of the diet I was on during January. [slashdot.org] I'll repost it here. It isn't the best argument that a high-fat diet causes weight loss, because of how radical it was. And it was short-term only. But it did work.

    =======================
    Let me tell you the long version of my one month diet. The short version is I lost 30 pounds in 31 days, and never felt any different.

    On January 1st, I started a month-long diet plan. I had scrambled eggs in the morning, with mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, and breakfast sausage mixed in them. I sauted the vegetables first in butter, added the sausage, and then the eggs, with some salt and seasoning. I made four days worth at a time, using eight eggs and half a package of sausage. So on average I had two eggs and two ounces of sausage. The calorie count was about 600 calories.

    For dinner I had a salad. For a good salad, start with a big bowl. The ones I used hold a quart or more. Shred four leaves of iceberg lettuce, add a couple leaves of romaine, throw out the stalk part (or eat a couple as I'm making the salad). Add half a large tomato, diced, handful of chopped onion, sliced hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese, halved black olives, a few croutons, and small amount of ranch dressing. I prefer Thousand Island, but would have used too much, so went with Ranch, which I don't actually like. If the wife had made chicken the previous night, add a piece of chicken, sliced or pulled. Calories without the egg or chicken was about 100 calories, and is what I had half the time. With an egg add another 80, and with chicken add 300.

    So for a month, Jan 1st to 31st, with only a couple exceptions, I had 1000 calories or less a day. The biggest exception was because I was out of town with my wife for a doctor visit one day. I ate a healthy dinner, but a few more calories than a salad. The other exception was a salad at Wendy's for lunch, also out of town, and a salad for dinner at home. Also, for a snack during the day, I would have eight to ten black olives, or a banana. I ate a banana on five or six days, and the black olives on fifteen to twenty days. The other days, I had nothing more than scrambled eggs and a salad.

    To round that out, I drank at the most, a quart of water a day. One glass in the morning after breakfast, small sips during the day when my mouth was dry, and one glass after dinner. Again, the two exception days, I had diet soda or tea with the meals. With the salad of course, I got some more liquid, but the water my body used was simply provided by breaking down the fat cells. And I broke down a lot of fat cells. When I got up in the morning and used the toilet, my urine was a very dark orange. That was from the debris, solids and liquids, of unneeded cells.

    During that month, I never felt tired, worn out, or light headed. I went from 230 pounds to 200 pounds. I did the same work I do all the time, fixing computers, crawling under desks, carrying them out to the car and back, installing network printers, etc. I didn't go to the gym at my apartment complex, or do any other workout.

    As for hunger, I am always hungry anyway. I usually snack whenever I have the chance between jobs, tv shows, slashdot flamewars, and am still always hungry. So going a month being slightly more hungry wasn't really noticeable. Really, it's more boredom than hunger to begin with anyways.

    Of course in the five months since I went off the diet, I regained some of the weight. Eight pounds in the first two weeks, as the depleted-but-surviving fat cells refilled with water. But that means I managed to destroy twenty-two pounds of them in one month. I want to go back on the diet, and get well below 200 pounds, but just haven't yet. Maybe now that my daughter's finished school, I can plan my life a bit more again.
    --

    • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @11:17AM (#47807851) Homepage

      I also lost about 30 lbs, with no exercise, by changing my diet to a low-carb diet. But I used a closed-loop feedback for food selection for less than US$20.

      I (and several others) purchased a blood sugar meter. Basically, we would check our blood sugar levels (BSL) at 1 and 2 hours after eating. We all found that some foods would take us up to 120 (the upper limit for our experiment), but some foods blasted BSL up to 200. Avoiding foods that triggered high levels caused us all to lose weight, feel less hungry, and we snacked less or not at all. All of us saw significant-to-radical improvements in our health. The real surprise is how many foods affected some of us, but not others. The more we compared notes on food, the more we realized it to be dependent on the person's response. Foods that affected all of us tended to have wheat, corn and related by-products.

      I share this, hoping others will give it a try and report back.

      The idea of a one-size-fits-all diet makes as much sense as a one-size-fits-all shoes and clothing. I'm convinced we need to take advantage of the feedback tools available and customize your own diet, based on your body's reactions.

    • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @12:07PM (#47808487)

      That month of only a quart of water a day just sliced about 10 years off the life of your kidneys. If your urine is dark orange you are actively damaging your kidneys. There is a reason everyone (all doctors, all dieticians, everyone) says drink lots of water, the more water you push through your kidneys keeps the contaminant load lower and works the kidney's less. The less water you drink ups the contaminant load and force the kidney's to process it with less available flow. This damages the kidney's. This is basic knowledge about how the kidney's function and you shortened the life of your kidney's significantly. What you did was very very stupid.

  • *not* a low fat diet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854)

    "The low-fat group included more grains, cereals and starches in their diet. They reduced their total fat intake to less than 30 percent of their daily calories, which is in line with the federal governmentâ(TM)s dietary guidelines."

    This is not a low-fat diet. The 30% recommendation was an incredibly tepid compromise: the standard American diet is around 35% fat. So this its along the lines of telling peoople "Oh, you smoke 35 cigarettes a week? Try to keep it to 30."

    For comparison, the Ornish plan i

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:30AM (#47806189)

    Someone posts a scientific article about dieting and everyone posts their wild unproven theories about dieting.

    If I wanted to read wild speculation by uninformed nobodies I can find that elsewhere.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Strange, when I want to read wild speculation by uninformed nobodies I usually come here.

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @08:59AM (#47806463)

    I track my calories quite closely. Have for a few years now. Late last year, I went off meds - steroid-based - that I'd taken for decades for a chronic condition which had gone away. In the course of about 2 months, I gained ten pounds without changing my caloric intake. Freaked me out because I'd worked so hard to lose the weight.

    That strongly suggested to me that there are in fact, other factors at play than just calorie balance. Calorie balance is a significant component but there seem to be other significant factors at play as well.

  • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @11:03AM (#47807679) Homepage Journal

    All those foundings in this study could have been 'discovered' by an internet research (google is your friend).
    We know since 30 years or longer how nutrition works and how to proper eat and stay healthy. Well, we as 'we who care' or 'we, the scientists who researched it'.
    It is astonishing, amazing even, that an american institute does a study about a topic that is basically 'researched out'.
    But I guess that is the typical american arrogance. Assuming first no one ever really did 'a study' and if they figure 'oh, someone did' they jump onto the wagon: 'yeah, but that was in europe'. So european studies are not trustworthy? Or is it that 30 year old insights aged somehow and are no longer valid? Hint: http://www.montignac.com/en/th... [montignac.com] or Atkins(Atkinson?), btw an American as far as I know. He also solved everything around nutrition. But well, instead of simply understanding what is going on you call it 'diets'. Sigh, I believe Atkins lost his credibility when companies started to sell pre packed food for the microwave with his name on it.
    Anyway, lets get a few things straight many people here falsely assume about diets and nutrition.
    EXERCISES
    Exercises make you more healthy, but they don't help you to stay or become slim in case you eat to much
    You can easy verify this by googeling how much energy you burn, sitting, sleeping, running, swimming ... and how much a simple big mac with french fries (plus ketchup! plus the coke!) is in calories.
    LACK OF WILLPOWER
    Will power does not help if you eat the wrong things or fall into the american myth that you should eat a snack 6 times a day (rofl, those six snacks alone have more calories than the rest you eat over a day). Hint: exercising does not help ... so your willpower only helps to resist a cake with cream.
    GENETICS
    The influence of genetics is nearly non existing (for a white anglo saxon christian american). Yes, Maori or Inuit have a slightly different metabolism, they even become really 'fat' by only eating proteins or 'fat' ... actually they eat low carb ... funny, isn't it?
    SWEETENERS
    (chemical) Sweeteners have no calories in themselves, but they
    a) are triggering some responses in the body, like insulin levels, but also change absorption of other carbs in your guts. So the prime mistake e.g. is to eat an ordinary cake/torte with a coffee containing sweeteners. That will increase the 'calorie bomb effect' of the cake a ten fold, a normal coffee with sugar is much better.
    b) most (chemical) sweeteners are suspected to cause cancer (well known since over 30 years, but it seems the food industries can avoid to make this public somehow, Aspatam, Saccarin, Cyclamat etc.)
    c) Fructose or other 'sweeteners' are proclaimed to be not digestible. Well, see below, that actually depends on your personal gut bacterias.
    GENETICS AND BACTERIA
    While the genetics of humans have a low influence, the genetics if the hut bacterias have a high one.
    The general mantra that it is healthy to eat lots of fibers is wrong in many cases. If you believe you are eating super healthy but you are fat nevertheless chances are you caught some bovine bacterias that can indeed prepare the fibers (which should be undigestible) into carps that your body happily is digesting. The estimate is that about 25% of the 'super fat' harbour bacteria like that.
    Now the explanation: INSULIN
    Suppose you eat to fat. Extreme example: you eat a pound of butter. You would never do that? Wow, ever ate 100grams mousse au chocolat? That mousse contains roughly 90grams of butter, a bit of chocolat and a bit of eggs. Well, perhaps only 80.
    What happens if you digest that? Well, the simple answer is: nothing. That is one of the reasons it is a famous dessert. On paper it has a lot of calories but they are all fat. That means: if you eat that as a breakfast, 90% of the fat w

    • by geekoid (135745)

      That's all completely wrong.
      Please, shut up.

    • 1. Exercise changes your metabolism. So does being sedentary. It is not simply a matter of calories-out when it comes to exercise or calories in when it comes to diet. Exercise not only has been shown to boost your overall metabolism (some of it is from repairing damaged tissue and the other is from poorly understood short-term or long term metabolic changes), but also to do things like prevent tissue cannibalization (encouraging fat-burning) and leading to long-term changes in your metabolic rate. Som

  • by seven of five (578993) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @11:18AM (#47807867) Homepage
    I gave up crabs for nothing.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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