CategoryFat

Macronutrients & Obesity: 1971-2000

From DietDoctor.com — a look at the change of macronutrient composition in our diet from 1971 to 2000. As we transitioned to the recommended low fat approach our carbohydrate intake increased dramatically. It had to, because there are only three macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fat. If you restrict fat you will by default consume more carbohydrate-rich foods.

The LCHF approach flips this to reduce carbs (sugars, starches, grains) and increase the fat content. The typical result of this is healthy weight loss as well as improvements in several metabolic markers like HDL, triglycerides, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity.

macros-1971-2000

Another look at macronutrients and associated effects from this study.

macros-1971-2008

A Guide to Dietary Fat

Olive OilDietary fat has been vilified for decades, but we now know that eating fat is not what makes us fat, and for many people a low carb / high fat (LCHF) diet is very effective for weight loss, T2 diabetes, improved HDL and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and other metabolic health markers.

But which fats? Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans fats — what do these categories mean, which ones are the most beneficial, and what are some good healthy fat sources? Which ones are stable at high temperatures and work well for cooking? What kinds of harmful fats should we avoid?

The tweet below from DietDoctor.com’s Andreas Eenfeldt alerted me to a great resource on fat at Michael Joseph’s Nutrition Advance website. See the article here to gain a better understanding of it and how best to incorporate it into a healthy diet.

Also see the graphic in an earlier post, Fats & oils.

US & UK dietary guidelines ‘should not have been introduced’

Evidence from randomized controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983.

Another recognition of something we already know: the ‘low-fat’ dietary guidelines issued in the U.S. and the U.K. were not based on reliable nutritional science.

National dietary advice on fat consumption issued to millions of US and UK citizens in 1977 and 1983, to cut coronary heart disease incidence, lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up, and “should not have been introduced,” concludes research published in the online journal Open Heart.

Research article on the meta-analysis is published at the British Medical Journal’s Open Heart website.

Abstract

Objectives
National dietary guidelines were introduced in 1977 and 1983, by the US and UK governments, respectively, with the ambition of reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing fat intake. To date, no analysis of the evidence base for these recommendations has been undertaken. The present study examines the evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) available to the US and UK regulatory committees at their respective points of implementation.

Methods
A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken of RCTs, published prior to 1983, which examined the relationship between dietary fat, serum cholesterol and the development of CHD.

Results
2467 males participated in six dietary trials: five secondary prevention studies and one including healthy participants. There were 370 deaths from all-cause mortality in the intervention and control groups. The risk ratio (RR) from meta-analysis was 0.996 (95% CI 0.865 to 1.147). There were 207 and 216 deaths from CHD in the intervention and control groups, respectively. The RR was 0.989 (95% CI 0.784 to 1.247). There were no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions. The reductions in mean serum cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the intervention groups; this did not result in significant differences in CHD or all-cause mortality. Government dietary fat recommendations were untested in any trial prior to being introduced.

Conclusions
Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs.

Fats & oils

Nice resource from cardiovascular research scientist Dr James DiNicolantonio.

Source: his tweet.

Fats & oils

Another good one from Dr D.

Fats

Exercise

There are many good reasons to exercise. Muscle strength, improved bone density, cardiovascular health, optimal metabolic function, reducing risk of stroke and heart disease and T2 diabetes and dementia — the list is long. Exercise energizes and makes you feel great. But exercise is not a great weight loss strategy. You can lose weight with exercise, but (1) you have to work really hard at it, and (2) the weight tends to come off very slowly.

The best way to burn off excess body fat is by reducing consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. The reason is that carbohydrates drive up blood sugar (glucose), which stimulates the secretion of insulin. Insulin is the fat storage hormone. If the excess glucose is not used for energy, insulin moves it into the fat cells to be used for energy later. But if we keep eating the carbs and glucose levels remain high, the stored fat is never metabolized for energy — so the fat cells remain. You cannot outrun a bad diet.

A low carb / ketogenic diet causes the body to transform from burning sugar for energy to burning fat. It works.

exercise

Fat vs Carbs

The traditional “balanced diet” may be way out of whack. To fight obesity and diabetes, doctors and nutritionists are embracing diets that were once called fads.

“PEOPLE have told me what I do is dangerous. They have walked away from me at meetings,” says David Unwin, a doctor practicing in Southport, UK. Unwin suggests to his patients with type 2 diabetes or who want to lose weight that they do the opposite of what official health advice recommends. He advises them to stop counting calories, eat high-fat foods – including saturated fats – and avoid carbohydrates, namely sugar and starch. Telling people to avoid sugar is uncontroversial; the rest is medical heresy.

But crazy as it sounds, Unwin has found that most of his diabetes patients who follow this advice are getting their blood sugar back under control, and that some are coming off medication they have relied on for years. Those who are overweight are slimming down.

This might seem like just another controversial fad diet, but a growing number of researchers, doctors and nutritionists around the world are backing it, and reporting their findings in peer-reviewed medical journals. Last month, the National Obesity Forum, a UK body for health professionals involved in weight management, made headlines when it overhauled its advice, telling people to ditch calorie-counting, low-fat foods and carbs in favor of fats.

Source: New Scientist

fat-carbs

Doubling saturated fat in diet does not increase saturated fat in blood

New research links diabetes, heart disease risk to diet high in carbohydrate — not fat.

Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study. However, increasing levels of carbohydrates in the diet during the study promoted a steady increase in the blood of a fatty acid linked to an elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The finding “challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease,” said senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

“When you consume a very low-carb diet your body preferentially burns saturated fat,” Volek said. “We had people eat 2 times more saturated fat than they had been eating before entering the study, yet when we measured saturated fat in their blood, it went down in the majority of people. Other traditional risk markers improved, as well.”

Source article at  Ohio State University News site.

Research findings at the PLOS ONE Journal.

1917 Diabetes Cookbook

In 1917 Rebecca Oppenheimer published “Diabetic cookery; recipes and menus” which described what was already known about the optimal diet for diabetics — more butter, olive oil, meats, cheeses, eggs, and healthy fats (low in carbohydrates), and less sugar, starch, bread, pasta, and other foods that raise blood sugar (due to high carbohydrate content).

This is essentially a low carb / high fat (LCHF) diet, which not only helps diabetics to reduce their blood glucose, but is also effective for weight loss and other metabolic conditions.

The book can be found online at Archive.org and you can download it in PDF format here.

Here are pages 12 and 13 from the book.

Diabetic Cookery

Dinner: brisket, salad, brussels sprouts

Last night’s low carb dinner — brisket, green salad with olive oil, brussels sprouts with plenty of Kerrygold butter. Fantastic.

brisket-salad-dinner