Thursday, March 22, 2012
This first link was just very encouraging for me to see. Living in the country I often think about the much more limited options that city dwellers have to be in a natural environment, at least without getting in the car, and also the much more limited options to grow fruits and vegetables. This seems to be a step in the right direction that would be great to duplicate all over the country.
What do you think?
The second link is about an explanation of the scientific method and how this is applicable to evaluating information about nutrition using the example of a recent study out of the Harvard School of Public Health about red meat consumption. If we all learned the skill of critical thinking we would not fall for every fad diet that comes along.
The third link is from an article published in the New York Times on Tuesday, March 20 with the title Calories are Everywhere, Yet Hard to Track
I would like to draw attention to this paragraph: "They found scant evidence to support the popular notion that any one nutrient is responsible for our obesity, or that a low-carbohydrate diet is everyone's secret to success. Although a diet low in carbs and high in fats and protein may enhance satiety and curb snacking, few people seem able to refrain indefinitely from the carbohydrate-rich foods they love. The long-term effectiveness of low-carb diets for a vast majority of people who try them has yet to be assessed."
The author says that there is "scant evidence" that low-carb is EVERYONE'S secret to success. Big surprise, we are all different. Low-carb may, however be the secret to success for all those people who are on low-fat diets and getting fatter all the time or feeling like they are starving. Low-carb is a definite way to reduce insulin-production with all the benefits this brings. If a low-carb diet indeed enhance satiety and thereby also curbs snacking then maybe it is worth trying for anyone who has not been successful with low-fat diets.
If few people seem to be able to refrain indefinitely from carbohydrate-rich foods that they "love" than it sure looks to me like this confirms what Gary Taubes and many others argue, that carbs, or at least some carbs are addictive. It only takes a small serving of certain carbs to trigger food cravings. Given that we are surrounded by carbs and foods that contain carbs they are much harder to avoid than cigarettes. People who are successful on low-carb diets have to plan well, avoid most processed foods and restaurant foods and deal with emotional eating issues to be successful. This may not be easy and is a process but for me it is much easier than to be on a low-fat, calorie-counting diet where I'm hungry every two hours, can never fully satisfy my hunger and have little energy to exercise.
In my opinion Dr. Atkins, Gary Taubes and all the low-carb people are closer to the truth. But we do need a study to assess the long-term effectiveness of low-carb diets for the vast majority of people, I'm just not sure that we have time to wait for the results given the obesity crisis in this country.
I will share more of my own recent experience with low-carb eating tomorrow.