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Thread: Is it about the macronutrients? page

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    Bill_89's Avatar
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    Is it about the macronutrients?

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    I was reading some of Anthony Colpo's work:

    AnthonyColpo

    I'll start by saying that he is kind of a polemicist, which does not appeal to me personally (one reason I really respect Mark is that he seems so cool-headed and friendly), but at the same time, I found his viewpoints interesting.

    On one hand, he stands against the conventional wisdom on cholesterol, saturated fat, and grains. However, he is also quite hostile toward low-carb diets. Miraculously, he is anti-Vegan, anti-low carb, and anti-SAD all in one.

    He doesn't advocate eating grains or legumes, but he does recommend white rice and tubers, and a generally high carbohydrate diet. His diet almost seems to be "high carb paleo," if that's even possible. It does seem to work for him . . .

    At the same time, he appears to be a very hardcore athlete. He eats a lot and burns a lot. Perhaps his regimen is ideal for a topnotch athlete, but not a typical individual. And perhaps it is not ideal for long-term health and longevity.

    That said, since I've never experienced weight problems, I think I'll experiment with incorporating more starchy carbs into my diet and see how it feels.

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    Depends.

    General health? A low carbohydrate diet is a low inflammatory diet. From what I've been reading, you will probably experience less chronic diseases just by eating lower carbohydrate. This doesn't mean you can't ever eat carbs. Some (like in PB) are fine.

    With respect to weight loss, you need a caloric deficit. It's easier to maintain one on a low carb diet. If you have metabolic syndrome or are a Type 2 diabetic, a VLC diet might be beneficial. For most, there's no need in terms of general health or weight loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavemanj View Post
    General health? A low carbohydrate diet is a low inflammatory diet. From what I've been reading, you will probably experience less chronic diseases just by eating lower carbohydrate. This doesn't mean you can't ever eat carbs. Some (like in PB) are fine.
    You can be eating low-carb while eating tons of pork and chicken products, nuts, eating fats like vegetable oils. That's all still technically low-carb, but all the omega-6 in that kind of diet is extremely inflammatory. It's not just about the macros.

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    Bill_89's Avatar
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    The paleo concept really appeals to me intellectually, and I think one of its strengths is that it can be modified to suit your needs. At least from my perspective, the only hard and fast rules are: A.) Eliminate grain B.) Eat real food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imasin View Post
    You can be eating low-carb while eating tons of pork and chicken products, nuts, eating fats like vegetable oils. That's all still technically low-carb, but all the omega-6 in that kind of diet is extremely inflammatory. It's not just about the macros.
    That's a great point. I should have clarified it a bit.

    For anyone reading this, that's the difference between Atkins and primal. Atkins is lower carb but it's not focused on general health. It's good for weight loss, but it's not necessarily a good guide to be healthy. Macronutrient ratios are important for weight loss, but aren't necessarily indicative of good health. In addition, you don't need to be jacked like Mark in order to be healthy.

    A primal diet will probably cause you to lose weight if you're overweight and you don't overeat, but most importantly, it's a good health lifestyle because it promotes lower inflammation. We avoid things that have high levels of omega 6, in addition to inflammatory foods like wheat, gluten, processed crap, sugars, etc. Things like grass fed beef and natural eggs have omega 3s in them, which help reduce inflammation. Although fruit and potatoes are not low carb, many of us consume them. I love sweet potatoes and use them before and after a workout. However, if your goal is to lose weight, just reduce the fruit and potatoes a little bit. Carbohydrates from 100 - 150 for people who are active and happy with their weight is perfectly fine.

    In addition to diet, things like play, weight lifting, sunlight, and proper sleep fight inflammation.

    Hope that helps. Weight loss is just one of many benefits of primal. General health, increased libido, feeling good, and better levels of physical fitness also follow. Weight loss is just one side effect.
    Last edited by cavemanj; 03-27-2011 at 03:05 PM.

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    I've done a little reading on Colpo lately and his major beef seems to be with people who believe in a "metabolic advantage" that comes from eating low-carb. Some people apparently claim that two people eating the same number calories will lose different amounts of weight if one is eating low-carb and the other is eating high carb. Another of his biggest claims is that calories are king, regardless of macro-nutrient composition. He seems to have a particular grudge with Dr. Eades and is pretty dismissive of Taubes. My understanding is that Colpo's book does in fact advocate a low-carb diet but I've also seen some recent posts where he talks about how many carbs he eats. I would enjoy reading his book for another viewpoint on nutrition but I'm not willing to shell out forty bucks.

    I've been reading health and nutrition related materials for many years and after recently reading The Paleo Diet, Protein Power, The Abs Diet, The South Beach Diet, Good Calories/Bad Calories, Why We Get Fat, The Warrior Diet, the Paleo Solution and several others, I like Mark's ideas the best.
    Last edited by Corwin1968; 03-27-2011 at 03:27 PM.

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    I don't see Primal/Paleo being about macronutrient ratios, but about where they come from (beyond meeting physiological needs). Dr Kurt Harris thinks that for someone with a healthy metabolism, pretty much any macronutrient split will support good health as long as you're getting your basic physiological needs met; the important part is eliminating grains and avoiding excess fructose and PUFAs.

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    I am convinced that low carb is important for people with insulin resistance and overweight, but not convinced it really matters all that much for healthy people at a good weight who are at least moderately active. Increasingly I think we need to be clear which group we are referring to and recognize that there just is NO one perfect diet or macro ratio - it all depends, and some of it doesn't probably matter that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    I am convinced that low carb is important for people with insulin resistance and overweight, but not convinced it really matters all that much for healthy people at a good weight who are at least moderately active. Increasingly I think we need to be clear which group we are referring to and recognize that there just is NO one perfect diet or macro ratio - it all depends, and some of it doesn't probably matter that much.
    Interestingly, I remember reading about someone who was diabetic saying that adding sweet potatoes to their diet made their BG readings go down/didn't affect their BG readings... I don't remember where I read this, but it's food for thought... maybe it doesn't even depend on carbs necessarily, but primal/non-primal carb? or maybe a glucose/fructose difference? obviously it will depend on the individual too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imasin View Post
    Interestingly, I remember reading about someone who was diabetic saying that adding sweet potatoes to their diet made their BG readings go down/didn't affect their BG readings...
    If you're displacing fat (specifically palmitic acid) with carbs, you will be more insulin sensitive (if your pancreas and metabolism aren't already screwed up) at least in the short term. For those who haven't read it, here's a post on Hyperlipid that discusses it: Hyperlipid: Physiological insulin resistance and palmitic acid again

    I agree with pretty much all of what's been said. You guys rock!

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