Saturday, May 12, 2012

  This article originally came into my universe by way of  google plus and generated some good - and some off the wall- discussion.

  I have a few things I feel like posting on the topic- but first, give it 5 minutes and read this:

  I will tell you right now that I think Taubes is generalizing and simplifying a bit too much. There are.... details. But, in the general atmosphere of generalizing-

  If you look at the proponents of most dietary reginmens that are really working, whether they are no-red meat, lean meat, lotsa meat, paleo, atkins, primal, panu (archevore) - south beach, raw, mediterranean- the list is long.

  If the diet is working, almost regardless of the debate on fat, almost regardless of the elimination of grains versus the re-mapping of how and when grains are eaten- if the diet is working it will almost invariably include-

         lower carbs.

  Even a Mediterranean diet with pasta, done properly*, is going to be massively lower in carbs and sugars. Sugars, on a good Med diet, will drop from a 3 pound a week average (yeah, that's JUST sugar) to a quarter pound. Carbs, believe it or not, will drop by 30-60% (rough math, it's right within a large margin, I got 45% on the calculator)

  *properly- properly doing a diet is crucial. With very few- and exclusively market driven- exceptions, any of the diets I mentioned is going to be largely compatible with Pollan's Food Rules. (small book, go buy it) The rules essentially boil down to eating Real Food instead of packaged, manufactured, preprepared, and etc. I cannot stress strongly enough that this essential thread tying the diets together is of absolute importance. - Eating Real Food is decent proportions will cut so much sugar, refined carbs, and processed oils out of your diet that you can almost choose the diet as a "desktop theme" type of choice.


One person in the original discussion thread contended that insulin had nothing at all to do with fat.

"There is no evidence that insulin regulates the fat in our cells. At least not as the major contributor. It is another hormone.

  Actually, there is research that show that higher levels of insulin lowers the risk of getting fat. I can produce a dozen references, like, that shows this."

  Okay, if you go to that study, it seems to me, that there is less fat formation among the subjects who are insulin resistnant. Insulin resistance is a lessening of the ability of insulin to handle gllocuse in the blood. Which means less processing into fat.

  Pointing this out, I was informed that insulin isn't involved in processing the sugar in blood.

  This is wrong- Insulin tells the cells to absorb glucose, fat and aminos. Fat cells are cells. Insulin is the main fat storage hormone.

  High levels of insulin also block the activation of catecholamines (such as adrenaline, dopamine) which control the release of energy into the body.

  Quite possibly, the single most important reason that carb controlled diets (which may or may not be called such) work is that when you reduce the insulin spikes, you increase the activation of PKA and bang, increased metabolic rate.


  I mentioned the "theme" of diets. The reason a dietary plan is important is that you have to have boundaries and rules. Many of us traditionally were  provided these culturally or through our families. (Now they are provided by marketing firms, and don't work)

  This is absolutely crucial. Oh, you can change- from ketosis stage atkins to south beach, for example. But having and sticking to a set of food rules is really improtant.

  The single most important presupposition for any diet plan is this- no fakery.  No Atkins bars, No Atkins bread. No lo-carb energy shakes. Real food, on the plan. Real food.

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