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Thread: The Battle of the Diets - Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat page

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    MikeEnRegalia's Avatar
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    The Battle of the Diets - Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat

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    YouTube - ‪The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)‬‏

    I really, really enjoyed watching this presentation. It's from 2007 and was uploaded in 2008, and I don't know why I found it only last weekend.

    The main take-away message is: Low-Carb seems to work much better for people who are insulin resistant - determined by either fasting glucose levels or triglycerides/HDL ratio - while low-fat seems to work better for those who aren't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
    ...The main take-away message is: Low-Carb seems to work much better for people who are insulin resistant - determined by either fasting glucose levels or triglycerides/HDL ratio - while low-fat seems to work better for those who aren't.
    The former is key to understanding what Taubes is doing with GCBC and WWGF... What would support low fat besides assumptions?

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    Even though I don't think I eat high fat (not a fan of fat "slathering", well, sometimes when it's merited) I don't think perpetual low fat works for ANYBODY. Moderate fat, which is what I reckon you get when you don't purposely avoid fat, but don't seek it out at every turn (ie: me) is what has worked the best for me.

    A constant low fat state would wreak havoc for me, and I bet it goes for most.

    Low carb is good for the vast majority, especially overweight folks and sedentary folks. I "need" my starches for my workouts and because I love to eat them. I don't mind having one to three "low fat" days a week for that reason.

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    One other point made in the presentation was that people had a hard time adhering to either extreme diet (Atkins, Ornish). The latter is about as low-fat as you can get, but people ended up with almost 30% fat, if I remember correctly. If that's all healthy fat (little poly-unsaturated, no trans fats) I think it's quite possible for many people to do great on such a diet. Provided of course, as I mentioned above, that they're not prone to insulin resistance. If we further assume "clean" carbs (no wheat/gluten/lectins etc.) I think such a diet is even compatible with a true paleo or paleo-equivalent approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFH View Post
    The former is key to understanding what Taubes is doing with GCBC and WWGF... What would support low fat besides assumptions?
    ? The black swan for Taubes et al is: What do we do with people who eat a high-carb diet and aren't becoming insulin resistant? Notice that in the study in a given weight group (BMI between 30 and 35) there was a spectrum of markers for insulin resistance, and those with less insulin resistance had no problems losing weight on the low-fat diet (which, as I said above, was more moderate-fat, but still high-carb), while those with high insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetic) did better on the Atkins diet (which wasn't really low-carb, but moderate carb). This means that reality is much more complex than "carbs drive insulin drives fat". Rather than focusing on carbs as the *cause* for obesity, we should try to find out what makes some people react worse to carbs than others.

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    Maybe I just don't come out from my rock enough but I don't see that many paleo type folks advocating VLC (sub 50gr per day)....

    It seems to my like people are desperately trying to paint paleo/primal as a zero carb cult despite the fact that most paleo folks aren't really VLC and don't think carbs are teh debil.
    Last edited by jspradley; 06-27-2011 at 10:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
    ? The black swan for Taubes et al is: What do we do with people who eat a high-carb diet and aren't becoming insulin resistant? Notice that in the study in a given weight group (BMI between 30 and 35) there was a spectrum of markers for insulin resistance, and those with less insulin resistance had no problems losing weight on the low-fat diet (which, as I said above, was more moderate-fat, but still high-carb), while those with high insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetic) did better on the Atkins diet (which wasn't really low-carb, but moderate carb). This means that reality is much more complex than "carbs drive insulin drives fat". Rather than focusing on carbs as the *cause* for obesity, we should try to find out what makes some people react worse to carbs than others.
    I know about that already. Taubes is not clear enough who he is writing about, people who are insulin resistant. His books make sense to those people. Of course it is more complex, but Taubes is still on the mark for the people he is writing for. HOW you get insulin resistant is a complex topic. What to eat when you are IR isn't so complicated-minimize carbs.

    I still want to know what supports "low fat" for weight loss. Taubes perceived defects is not an reason to do the opposite thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jspradley View Post
    Maybe I just don't come out from my rock enough but I don't see that many paleo type folks advocating VLC (sub 50gr per day)....

    It seems to my like people are desperately trying to paint paleo/primal as a zero carb cult despite the fact that most paleo folks aren't really VLC and don't think carbs are teh debil.
    If you have a lot of weight to lose, VLC still makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
    This means that reality is much more complex than "carbs drive insulin drives fat".
    That's how it works. That's the mechanism. You also have to eat them to get appreciable amount of glycerol phosphate. Otherwise the fat doesn't accumulate, because free fatty acids can't be bound into triglycerides.

    Rather than focusing on carbs as the *cause* for obesity, we should try to find out what makes some people react worse to carbs than others.
    Why "rather"? Certainly it would be interesting to know more about why some people's tolerance to carbohydrate is higher. It's most probably genetic variation. And, as it happens, I only just read Taubes's Good Calories: Bad Calories, and he's perfectly clear that there is a great deal of variation.

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