Sunday, December 19, 2010

Medical science reverses itself on carbohydrates

Los Angeles Times

Most people can count calories. Many have a clue about where fat lurks in their diets. However, fewer give carbohydrates much thought, or know why they should.

But a growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America's ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

"Fat is not the problem," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases." [...]


  1. B"H, I'm down more than 35 lbs on low-carb/high-fat/protein, so far. It's really pretty easy and I don't go around hungry all day.

  2. It's the calories!

    If you eat a lot of food, you will gain weight and be susceptible to all those ailments. If you eat smaller portions and eat less food, you will be healthier. It's really quite simple. It can't be blamed on proteins or blamed on carbs or blamed on fats. People need to take responsibility and limit how much food they shove in their mouths.

    All of it comes down to glucose levels. Indeed, some forms of carbs raise resting glucose levels more than other forms of food intake, if you eat enough of them, but ALL food, ALL calories, will cause your glucose to spike and eventually if you keep taking in more than you burn off, cause your glucose levels to rise, regardless of what composition of your diet, and high glucose levels lead to all of these problems.

  3. To be fair, this is pretty old news. The first quoted in the article, Dr. Walter Willett (chairman, department of nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health) wrote a book on this five years ago ("Eat, Drink, and be Healthy," 2005 - great book, BTW), which means that the research findings backing up his recommendations have been accumulating since before even then.

    That there used to be a blanket "fat is bad, carbs is good" message from the medical establishment probably has much to do with the public's desire for slogan-like simplicity in health advice as much as it has to do with scientific hubris.


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