I may have to check that book out from the Library.
Taubes' hypothesis is that the diseases of western civilization (heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes) are caused by increased intake of refined carbohydrates, not fat as has been the accepted medical wisdom for decades.
What I know from personal experience is:
I eliminated sugars as much as possible from my diet, with the only source of various sugars being the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables.
I eliminated starches as much as possible from my diet, with the only source of various starches being the natural starches in vegetables. I also eliminated corn, potatoes and other vegetables that are high in natural starches.
I eliminated all breads, cereals and processed foods.
I actually increased my intake of fats (olive oil mostly, but some butter).
I increased my intake of fish, mostly salmon and the like (which are also high in fats)
I went from 215 lbs to 165 lbs and from 38"+ (almost 40") to a loose 32" waist.
I relaxed my restrictions a little to add variety to my diet, adding some simple whole grain flat breads, adding some oatmeal, and adding some beans, and I've gone back up to 175 lbs and a 34" waist.
This is anecdotal evidence, but the correlation seems pretty clear to me.
There's one big issue I'd like to enter into the conversation. If calories-in/calories-out is wrong, if it's really the food categories rather than the calories consumed that matter, then where do the extra calories go in a low carb diet?
Well, I'm not sure. The low carb diet would not have high calorie sugars so it may be that the calorie intake by the body is slowed down, allowing them to be used to power the muscles (hence the reported higher activity levels?) rather than being dumped into fat storage because the demand for muscle use is low when the calories are all taken in with a high loading of calories.
I do have more energy, btw, but I can't be sure if this is a result of the diet or a result of being 16 months off chemo because the chemo saps your energy and depressed my level of energy below normal. I struggled with low energy levels from the chemo since the first time in 2005 (has it been that long?), and this year and the last year (since I started the diet) is the first time I feel relatively normal, energy wise. The last chemo was a new type and did not seem to affect my energy like the previous ones, so that may also be part of the equation to my energy levels this year. I certainly would not be able to do the work on the house that I have been doing with the energy levels I had 2006 to 2009.
Many people report being more energetic and less hungry on a low carb diet, so one possibility is that the extra calories were consumed by additional activity. Whether true or not, I don't believe there's any compelling research for or against this.
A little bit more energy leading to a little bit more activity can produce larger consumption of calories than just the activity alone. IIRC studies on exercise have shown that the effect of exercise on metabolism last for hours after the exercise is finished.
Another possibility is that it is excreted. I don't know whether this is a reasonable possibility, but again, I'm unaware of any compelling research.
That would be relatively easy to measure, I would think, but asking people to bring in poop samples may not appeal . . .
So that's my big question: On a low carb diet where you're still consuming the same number of calories, what happens to them?
It's possible that it goes to added muscle mass - I am stronger and have more endurance than I did a year ago. This still adds some weight, but muscle is more dense, so a little more muscle adds a little weight but not much volume.
. . . and you do lose weight.
I am more concerned with my girth than my weight, as I believe it more accurately indicates fat levels.
quote:Body Mass Index Calculator How Healthy Is Your Weight? Your BMI can tell you if you’re carrying too much, too little or just the right amount of body fat
Note that this does not account for different body types and is really a simple estimate.
When I put in 5'-8" and 175 lbs I get a BMI of 26.7 and it says
quote:Your body mass index (BMI) is between 25.0 and 29.9, suggesting that you are overweight. Nearly two-thirds of Americans have a BMI in the overweight range.
When reviewing your BMI results, keep in mind that a BMI has its limits. For instance, BMI can overestimate body fat in athletes or others who have a muscular build. It’s also wise to review results in light of your gender because the recommended amount of body fat differs for men and women.
So my physical activity and muscles may account for some of the BMI, but I have no way of knowing how much it is affected.
My waist going from 32" to 34" tells me that I've slid back towards overweight.
If I put in 165 lbs I get 25.1, just barely into the the overweight range. and looking at pictures of me at that time, I cannot see this as being overweight:
If they had an input for waist size that would be a little more accurate in this regard, being able to differentiate between athlete and couch potato by the weight distribution (I have seen one BMI calculator that had a body type selection, but nothing to input waist size). For instance, my butt size is significantly smaller to the point where pants can fall off without a belt.
The weight I've regained seems to be more centered on the belly than evenly distributed, accounting for the waist increase.
I think 165 to 170 lbs is an reasonable range for me to target, and am working on getting back down there (less couch more bike).
The BMI is bunk. I've tried a couple times to get my BMI below 25, and when I succeeded I was told by family, friends and coworkers that I was overdoing it, ...
Yeah, I got similar comments when I was down to 165 lbs even though my BMI for that is 25.1 - still overweight.
I did get a $100 "reward card" from my health insurance company for participating in their healthy living program ...
The body fat percentage (I'll call it BFP) is more bunk. As we age it becomes harder and harder to maintain muscle mass. If you're a male over 50 then your BFP will very likely be over 25%, which makes you obese. Ignore that, too.
Yeah, I look at my waist size as a better indicator of fat/muscle ratio.
The food pyramid that made carbohydrates the basis of a healthy diet for so many decades was bunk, and has now been revised. It has become my opinion that a high percentage of government and institutional diet advice is bunk. It mostly reflects institutional and political influence, not research. Taubes has convinced me that sufficient research to actually nail down what is true and not true regarding nutrition has not yet been done.
Agreed, and that was pretty much the conclusion of that video (on the previous thread?) on a scientific review of the various diets.
I've been on a stationary bike that has something like that - you could pick from bike trails all over the world. The speed in simulation was tied to how fast you peddled and the resistance was tied to the hills in the simulation. It was pretty cool - I rode on some mountainous trail in Australia and another time it was some town in Morocco, iirc.
Now do it with 3-d virtual reality with sounds ...