The People's Perspective on Medicine

The Low-Carb Diet Wins Diet Wars…Again!

An interesting new study pits low-carb against higher-carb diets. When it comes to maintaining weight, the low-carb diet wins handily.

Many nutrition experts have maintained that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. In other words, all calories are created equal. The more calories you consume the fatter you get. Put another way, these diet dictocrats insist that you will gain or lose weight based on the dictum: “calories in – calories out.” If you take in more calories than you expend, you gain weight. If you burn more calories at the end of the day than you consume, you lose weight. But a new study published in the BMJ (Nov. 14, 2018)  contradicts that old logic. In this study the low-carb diet wins.

Why We Believe the New Research:

Researchers have been studying diets for decades. This is a highly charged topic. There are strong opinions on all sides of the debate. Often the loudest shouters overwhelm solid science.

For years we were told that fat was the enemy. Calories from fat were supposed to make you fat. Researchers evaluated eating patterns in countries around the world and concluded that if you just eliminated fat, people would lose weight and avoid many of our chronic ailments—obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name just a few.

The food industry hopped on the bandwagon. We got low-fat and no-fat foods galore—cookies, yogurt, milk, ice cream—to name just a few. People consumed more carbohydrate to make up for the lack of fat. Sugar was a prime ingredient in many of these foods. You could pat yourself on the back for eating low-fat yogurt, but there was often “fruit” added in the form of jam, loaded with sugar. The obesity epidemic accelerated.

How the Low-Carb Diet Wins:

The new study in the BMJ was elegant in its design. It did not rely on volunteers reporting what they ate. People have notoriously bad memories when it comes to detailing their caloric intake.

For this study, researchers recruited overweight volunteers from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA. These hardy souls included students, faculty and staff. They agreed to eat only the food supplied by the investigators and they weighed themselves daily with a sophisticated WiFi scale (Withings) that sent the data directly to the researchers.

There were three dietary patterns that were tested. People were randomly assigned to receive either a high-carb diet, a moderate-carb diet or a low-carb diet for 20 weeks.

The researchers describe the diets this way:

“During the test phase, high, moderate, and low carbohydrate diets varied in carbohydrate (60%, 40%, and 20% of total energy, respectively) and fat (20%, 40%, and 60%, respectively), with protein fixed at 20%.”

Why the Low-Carb Diet Wins:

One of the researchers involved in this study was David Ludwig, MD, PhD. He is an endocrinologist who has studied metabolism and weight management for years. Dr Ludwig was a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. He was Founding Director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the oldest and largest family-based weight management programs.

Dr. Ludwig explained the latest research for the L.A. Times (Nov. 14, 2018). He pointed out that this was “one of the largest feeding studies ever conducted.”

“The Case Against Carbohydrates Gets Stronger”

Here is how he describes the results:

“Participants in the low (20%) carbohydrate group burned on average about 250 calories a day more than those in the high (60%) carbohydrate group, just as predicted by the carbohydrate-insulin model. Without intervention (that is, if we hadn’t adjusted the amount of food to prevent weight change), that difference would produce substantial weight loss — about 20 pounds after a few years. If a low-carbohydrate diet also curbs hunger and food intake (as other studies suggest it can), the effect could be even greater.”

We had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ludwig a couple of years ago for our syndicated public radio show. You may want to listen to the free podcast. You can also listen to the free audio file by clicking on the green arrow above Dr. Ludwig’s photograph. Here is a link.

The People’s Pharmacy Perspective:

We have spoken with a great many experts over the last 40+ years on our People’s Pharmacy radio show program. The overwhelming majority believe that refined carbohydrates and sugar lead to a spike in blood glucose. That leads to a corresponding spike in insulin. This hormone moves glucose into cells for storage as fat. This chain of events has helped create the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.

Coming up this Saturday at 7:00 am EST we will interview Dr. Jason Fung. He is a nephrologist who got tired of trying to repair the damage diabetes does to kidneys. His intermittent fasting program coupled with a low-carb diet can help prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes. Here is a link to the show. If you cannot listen live, be sure to listen to the podcast or the streaming audio on Monday, November 19, 2018. He adds fascinating insights to this weight loss discussion.

Share Your Thoughts

We recognize that everyone is different. Some people love the low-fat approach. Others crave carbs. We are not diet dictocrats. If one approach works well for you and allows you to control your weight, we’re delighted. But we have to admit that the latest research from Framingham, MA, suggests that if all else is equal, the low-carb diet wins when it comes to weight loss. Share your thoughts below in the comment section.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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We need more raw fruits, fresh fruit juices and veggie juice; veggies, fruits on empty stomach, nuts seeds, never fruits for desserts! Good fats avacados, coconut, olive oils , water water water, and proper combination, and less less less, meats if any, preference vegan! no dairy, eggs, and no no no no SUGAR. Except the natural one we get from our fresh fruit & veggies! Peace love & light to all!

My number one thought and concern when I hear people say “low carb” is what are you calling a carb. I am trained in nutrition and know exactly what a carb is and where they come from. We can NOT vilify ALL carbs. Fruits and vegetables are carbs and we NEED them and cannot get from other foods the important phytonutrients we get from them. We all can definitely benefit from not eating REFINED carbs in their many forms (anything with white flour, white sugar, refined grains, etc), but when I am advising my clients on how to shift their body toward more health, I am telling them to EAT MORE PLANTS, not more animals…Whole Foods Plant Based is the healthiest advice I know to give people. Does that mean they have to become vegan? NO. It means you shift your lifestyle to have more than half your plate be vegetables at most meals, have a few fruits per day, nuts, seeds, etc and some animal products for flavor or clean, lean protein (not that they are necessary!). Hope I am not sounding too heavy-handed, but I have watched this “low carb craze” for many years now and have seen people be afraid to eat vegetables because they are “carbs”…ridiculous. If you shift your lifestyle to the above way of eating, you will definitely lose weight, lower cholesterol, lower your blood sugar as well as likely lower inflammation and other disease inducing issues.

this is the only web site that constantly gives me a message that “there was a problem and site has to b reloaded”. Im getting paranoid re Big Pharma poltergeist! anyone with similar issue? (its such a nuisance & a time waster. thanx

Try using a different web browser.

My wife and I have followed a low carb diet for the past five years and can attest to the effectiveness of this way of eating.

I have been eating a low carb diet for a year after being diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I eat no processed foods, eat meat, modest dairy, veggies, low glucose fruits, no grains or sugars, three separate meals per day, no snacking, no fast food. Lost 30 pounds. A1C is now 5.1. LDL is 84. HDL is 50. Total cholesterol is 134. Yep, it works and is sustainable.

At the end of the podcast, Dr. Ludwig states that the main reason people aren’t successful with dieting is that they are hungry. That isn’t my problem at all. I have found many diets in the last few years where hunger is not an issue. My problem is that I simply love to eat tasty foods, and I love to eat out socially. I am a foodie who loves to try new and interesting foods a lot. So please help me find a diet where I can do that and still be slim and healthy. Not sure it exists!

I have suffered with hypoglycemia for most of my life and had to eat within 30 min. of waking up or I got weak and woozy. I now put one teaspoon of coconut oil in my cup of coffee and feel fine to walk my dogs for a mile before breakfast and am maintaining my weight loss perfectly.

Please let me know if you agree with Dr. McDougal when he teaches that dairy products contain deadly viruses and cancer cells which the cow has. He says that our leukemia’s and lymphomas come from drinking milk and eating dairy products. I love my milk and yogurt and cheeses. Will you please email me your wisdom on this subject and the same with the meat and fish industry wherein he states people can get viruses and cancers from eating meat. Thank you so very much.

For evidence-based nutritional information, check out Dr. Michael Greger’s nutritionfact.org website. What he tells you comes only after extensive research, not only reading studies, but studying the studies for things like who sponsors them, what other research contradicts or supports them, etc. He himself is a vegan and advocates the vegan diet for health reasons.

Thank you for this info. I have been on a low carb diet for more than a year because of high triglycerides and high cholesterol and the inability to take the drugs that control them. After on the self-imposed diet for 1 year, both are in the normal range. I have lost about 15-20 pounds and feel great… really good for 81 years old!

Thank you for posting this informative article. Earlier this year, at the age of 61, post menopausal with hypothyroidism, I lost 40 lbs in less than 4 months, eating real grocery store food. I ate fibrous carbs combined with lean proteins and healthy fats. I also included small amounts of complex carbs, but combined them appropriately for efficient fat burning. Food combinations, portion control, and void replacements for favorite unhealthy foods make this plan doable and sustainable as a lifestyle. I came off a statin drug I had been on 11 years!!! So, while not every person’s body will respond the same, please don’t discount a lower carb diet. I have maintained my weight loss for 5 months and plan to lose more. I do eat out and I do eat my “old” favorite foods occasionally, but promptly return to the plan and back into efficient fat burning. Happy Thanksgiving! Vicki Davis, Atlanta, GA

The guest doctor compared the 1970s and today and explained that his mother used to manage and restrict his eating. I think mothers used to carefully manage the nutrition of their whole households and prepare all meals, and that was an expected duty of a housewife and mother. Today few families have anybody in the role of full time nutritionist/cook/food authority. Women are at work.

That’s what Dr. Atkins preached for years and it always works for me. I have lost 18 pounds this year on low carbs.

The study did NOT show that low carb diets help you lose weight; It showed that low carb diets increase your metabolic rate. The weight loss implications are only speculative, not proven.

In fact most studies have shown that low carb does little to help you lose weight, unless the diet also makes you eat less.

Here (below) is a review of the weight loss implications of low carb. By the way , the authors state that their study suggests but does not prove that the diet could help you lose 20 pounds “in a few years”

So lets say the few years is 6 years. That means you would lose 20/6 or 3.3 pounds a year.
If you think this is the answer to obesity, you need to think again.
Losing weight requires eating fewer calories or exercising more. If low carb diet enables you to eat fewer calories, then go for it.

https://sma.org/southern-medical-journal/article/relative-merits-of-low-carbohydrate-versus-low-fat-diet-in-managing-obesity/

I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for 37 years. I followed the ADA diet recommended for diabetes for many years but had many problems sustaining a healthy level of blood glucose levels no matter what I did.

In frustration, I saw a naturopath almost 6 years ago who told me to eliminate dairy and gluten from my diet. For 2 weeks I felt flu-like then started feeling really good. Rice, beans, and pasta were always triggers for a rapid glucose rise so I rarely ate those anyway but eliminating bread, potatoes and other high starchy food smoothed out my highs which were then followed by lows caused by taking more insulin to cover the highs, took me off the roller coaster I’d been riding for years.

My glucose levels have been more in a normal range resulting in better health. When I do eat high carb I definitely pay for it in sustained high glucose.

Besides weight loss, not eating refined carbs and sugar has helped my cholesterol drop 30 points in 3 months! I eat full fat dairy, meat, vegetables, fruit and occasional rice or potatoes. I’ve switched my tea and coffee sweetener to agave syrup (low glycemic). I am also no longer classified as pre-diabetic. This is how I eat from now on.

Please consider having Dr. John McDougall on one of your radio shows. It seems whenever carbs are compared to fat, no mention is made of the TYPE of carbs being consumed. Of course REFINED carbs and SUGAR laden carbs are unhealthy. Yet those are the carbs used in the studies most often mentioned in media related studies the public is saturated with.
Dr. John McDougall can discuss and illustrate what a high carb diet is and how it compares to a high fat, high meat, high dairy diet!

The diet that has worked for me for many, many years is a vegan whole foods plant based diet with small amounts of fat and sugar. It is essentially the diet recommended in the film and book, “Forks Over Knives,” by Drs. Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn, John and McDougall, and by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., author of the China Study. This diet helps me stay healthy and active at 70+, and it’s been documented to reverse obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other “lifestyle” diseases.

I’m a KETO believer, and yet when asked to gain weight for a role (I’m an actor) I simply consumed more of the healthy foods I was already eating, that is, more calories. I gained 35 lbs in eight months. That excess weight is gone now…I lost it by simply returning to my previous amounts of food (fewer calories). So, calories in/out may be too simplistic, but it IS a factor…don’t kid yourself.

I have followed a low carb diet most of my life, but although I don’t have diabetes, and lipid values are low, nevertheless my blood pressure and weight are both high. Both DNA and blood type indicators steer me to a protein and vegetable diet. Currently following Weight Watchers which I have joined at least 7 times with little success. I am sure a high carb person who switches to low carb may lose weight, but it does not work for all of us. My husband who lives on mostly carbs is slim and never puts on weight except when he drinks too much beer.
70 and still trying to lose weight! Sigh!

I had my gall bladder removed 8 years ago. Since then I can’t tolerate a high fat diet without digestive issues. Tried it and can’t unless I take a bile-sequestration drug before eating. Some people just can’t handle high fat diets. Weight Watchers is a sensible, balanced diet with all the food groups and has the highest rating of all diet plans. Fats get the highest points on that diet, which makes sense.

This does not seem healthy for those with heart disease.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Ornithology, Dr. Esselestein at Cleveland Clinic and others feel differently about the fat consumption especially from dairy and mammals, meat. They disagree about nuts and avocado.
Confusing!

Great discussion. Author Jonathan Bailor published a remarkable bibliography of science papers on this and other low-carb topics: https://pages.sanesolution.com/saneclinicalresearch/ . This document cites 135 papers from science literature discussing the “a calorie is a calorie” fallacy. This is a remarkable contribution from this one author. Most provocative is the science paper ” ‘A calorie is a calorie’ violates the second law of thermodynamics” (2004; DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-9). One fantastic feature of the UNC libraries is that anyone with a driver’s license (or other ID) can access their online science paper subscriptions with a 1-hour pass at Davis Library (near The Pit on campus). You can download papers onto a USB stuck and read at your leisure. Everybody close to Chapel Hill should do a “research run” adventure at least once!

I started LCHF after watching an off-topic podcast from tech blogger Steve Gibson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vfK5U9qKaI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KKT7XFxQWg . Full transcripts of these episodes are available at https://www.grc.com/health/lowcarb-podcasts.htm . It’s great to read along while watching this particular show. I think LCHF is an “it takes a village” kind of thing. You need to learn a fair bit before starting, and it is a chemical withdraw to get off the sugars and other carbs — that’s why Steve calls it climbing a hill.

One of the most remarkable discussions about LCHF diets is that change in ROS (reactive oxygen species). We know about “antioxidant” supplements from advertisers, but we rarely think about the source of these free radicals. Many come from basic energy metabolism in our mitochondria. Burning glucose (carbs) generates far more ROS than burning BoHB (fats) — more energy and less smoke. This one tiny shift can have profound impact on reducing tissue stress in organs and improved brain function. People try low-carb for the metabolic impacts, but they stay for the improved neurology. This is one of the first things we knew about low carb — such diets have been used to treat childhood epilepsy for over 75 years.

Before watching that podcast ~6 years ago, I know next to nothing about nutrition. I thought that we could only burn sugars — I distinctly remember “learning” in grade school that our brains could only burn sugar. And I’m amazed at the noise and disinformation out there. A lecturer at a secondary school in the northwest recently told me in a discussion that adapting to a low-carb diet takes ~48 hours. Crazy! It takes at least 4 weeks and often twice that long to adapt our physiology. This is the difficult thing for starting out.

I’m just finishing up 30 days of “Whole 30” eating. I’ve lost 8-10 lbs and feel great, never felt deprived, low energy or starved. This was 30 days of: No sugar, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no alcohol. It was high protein, good fats, all vegetables and fruit allowed. My sugar and bread cravings have been broken!

Don’t get too complicated. Eat less, lose weight. No fat people at the end of The Bataan Death March nor in concentration camps. It is amazing how only people in areas that can afford to have problems with weight drift to celestial fixations as regards weight problem solutions. Really kind of pathetic.

Really, Mac? You are comparing people in concentration camps to everyone else? People in concentration camps are STARVING, not just losing weight. Such a comparison is pathetic to me.

Read the book “Stop Prediabetes Now” by Jack Challem published in 2007. I read this book when I was diagnosed with Prediabetes in 2011 and it turned me around in a very short time. At the time people like Dr. Oz were still pushing no fat and pooh poohed people like Challem. Well, now the tide has turned and Challem was right on all the time.

Are there any implications for Type 1 diabetes?

How many carbs a day is considered low carb?

I don’t disagree with your conclusions, but it would have been helpful if you had described exactly what kind carbs were included in the diets. As you know, not all carbs are created equal. So could you be more specific?

What is a low carb diet? No grain, no white veggies such as rice and potatoes? Is almond flour a carb? I make waffles with almond flour and keep them in the freezer for a quick breakfast occasionally. Is a low carb diet only veggies and chicken and fish? I don’t eat beef or pork. I don’t eat desserts. But I eat cheese. But I can’t loose weight. If low carb diet works, I’d like to know what that is.
These posters who said a low carb diet gives them energy and keeps their weight down don’t say what they do eat.

In reply to Jesse: At the beginning of this article it states that the low carb diet consisted of 20 % carbohydrate, 60% fat and protein at 20%. This is what I follow. Do you eat eggs? You, may have 2 eggs every morning, with bacon or filled with sauteed veggies. Lots of real full fat cheese and full fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit in it.You may enjoy peanut butter and unlimited veggies and fruit.I don’t worry about the natural sugars in fruit. I lost 50 lbs. in 7 months following this with no hunger nor cravings. Also you may have chicken, fish, lamb, so MANY options!

I have been following the extremely low carb Ketogenic diet for 2 months and have lost 12 pounds so far, consuming between 20/25 carb grams a day without hunger !! while eating more total fat than any time in my life. More important to me, is that my overall cholesterol numbers, triglycerides and blood pressure are already back down in the recommended range. My doctor told me I am no longer considered pre-diabetic.

I eat NO grains or starches, not even in small amounts, not even the so called “healthy” starches. I’ve learned to read labels religiously and check unlabeled foods against nutrient charts. These days, most carbs come from veggies and a small serving of berries each day. Occasionally, I enjoy a glass of dry red wine or a square of dark Keto legal chocolate. I don’t eat beef or pork out of personal preference, but do eat cheese, fish and poultry.

It’s important to consume enough fat, including small servings of natural saturated fats, though mostly plant based, like olive oil and avocados. More calories should come from fat than from other foods. That’s the key to the Keto diet.

I don’t know if a low carb lifestyle is right for everyone, but I feel great and will stick with it.

You pretty much have that right. But you don’t restrict calories, just grains and sugars and also dairy foods. This has the effect of eliminating sources of extra sugar, as well as helping to identify allergens. Eggs are also eliminated on many low carb diets. Personally, I followed the Whole 30 for 90 days and lost 30 pounds. I’d tried Weight Watchers numerous times and low fat, high complex carbs for decades and never lost more than 5 pounds. Plus I felt hungry. I never did on Whole 30. I learned about nutrient density, meaning foods that have a high concentration of vitamins, minerals and proteins. There are other versions of low carb. Some are geared towards weight loss, others towards health issues, like Autoimmune Paleo. You owe it to yourself to investigate these diets and choose what is right for you. However, I have to say that although I’d like to lose at least 10-20 pounds more, doing so would put me in a situation where I wasn’t eating enough food and making myself and my family miserable. So the question to ask yourself is: do I really need to lose weight? The bigger overall question is: what can I do to to increase health and wellness in my body and not obsess about weight? It’s something to think about.

Hubs went on the Atkins diet yrs ago (it’s basically low carb) and has thrived. Curiously, hubs is bloodtype O+ and I am bloodtype A+. After 45 yrs of marriage, we know our differences and they DO line up with the bloodtype diet theory. Hubs thrives on the low carb diet (plenty of protein, fat, heavy exercise, golf mostly) and I must have a little more carb and vegs (and less protein) to feel well. We both eat plenty of eggs, pork, butter, coconut oil. A breakfast of oatmeal with dried fruit is one thing we agree on.

I definitely believe in the low carb diet. I maintain my weight loss, 28-30 lbs, due to following the low carb diet and got out of diabetes. I never feel starved, just have to have some discipline. There are a lot of low carb recipes out there which are very helpful, especially a low carb recipe which I can substitute for regular bread since I have always loved bread. Have another recipe which I will try soon. Don’t think I could have ever lost this much weight on any other kind of diet.

You can’t eat waffles everyday. I have protein waffles about twice a month. I drink a high protein shake with blueberries. I eat lots of fish; salmon the most. I hate meat. I eat cheese once in awhile and it’s shredded. I eat pecans everyday. I love them because they are sweet and high in the right fat. I do take supplements, B, D3, C, biotin, magnesium, and supplements for my joints. It is hard if you don’t keep busy. I have lost 15 pounds this year. At first you must eat more protein than anything else and slowly add your carbs (vegetables) and cheese.

For me, low carb means no grains (Rice is a grain, not a white veggie.), and if craving something starchy, I eat any kind of potato (though ideally not french fries or chips). It means eating olives, avocados (which I’ve learned to like), coconut oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee as well as lots of veggies, as cleanly sourced meat as possible, nuts and fruit, some beans and legumes, and occasionally quinoa (a pseudo grain). The nut & bean grain flours make nice bread based substitutes when lots of eggs and butter added, and a gluten free treat is nice once-in-awhile, but for me the point is to eat less processed as possible.

As a former “sugar addict” I maintain my weight loss as follows: I eat low carb and very low sugar meals with plenty of protein along with monounsaturated and saturated fat foods, like salmon, eggs, whole milk; complex carbs; lower glycemic fruits like berries, vegetables; and snack on premeasured amounts of nuts and low carb liquid meal replacement drinks.

The key is that I have found foods I really like (spinach salad, salmon, nuts, Brussels sprouts, blueberries, etc. and some (measured) treats like chips, low-sugar ice cream, sugar-free candy). I do very little eating out. When I do I preplan what I will order.

The difference for me from my earlier eating habits is that I never feel deprived. It takes effort—like using sugar substitutes to create desserts. But I am worth the effort :)
Bottom line: my personal experience is in line with this new research.

For the last 12 months, we have been eating gluten-free and refined sugar-free. It has been amazing, and not only have we each lost about 20 pounds, other health issues have disappeared. Gluten-free is not fully carb-free, so we do eat potatoes, rice, etc. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, and have had no difficulty maintaining our presently ideal weight. The biggest change in habit is eliminating desserts. We tend to eat plain whole milk yogurt with a little raw honey, sprinkled with sliced almonds, for a delicious dessert or just have fruit. We are both 80 years old, and are probably the healthiest we have ever been. Praise God!

Correction: monounsaturated should be monosaturated.

Also, for weight loss I measured food portions and wrote down calories for all food during the day. I set a reasonable calorie limit based on height, weight, activity level, for a slow, steady weight loss and I didn’t punish myself with a “diet” of foods I don’t like, so I didn’t feel deprived. Higher fat foods and complex carbs are very filling so hunger wasn’t too much of a problem. Walnuts and avocados in measured amounts in a calorie counting plan are dream foods imo for weight loss.

It sounds like Dr Adkins is owned an apology! This is exactly what he told us years ago. It’s too bad he is not here to here his vindication.

I do aggressive bicycling and cardio kickboxing and other aerobic exercise 4/5 days/week weather permitting, plus lift moderately heavy weights 3/4X week. My weight is good at 184 for 6′ tall and advanced age. I did very low carb intake early this spring. Lost 6 pounds of winter weight very quickly. But found I ran very low on energy on long duration heavy aerobic events (cycling with very fast riders) and aerobic exercise classes. So I’d end up trying to consume dried fruit & raisins with one hand while cycling ~20mph- very dangerous. I’m sure others have the same experience with keto and atkins approaches. Again, I’m riding my bicycle 27 – 30 miles at 20 + mph with younger fast riders; likewise with aggressive aerobic exercise classes. The energy crash of low carbs is a powerful disincentive; despite the success of low carbs to effectively lose pounds/inches. Frustrating to not have the sustained energy for aggressive aerobic events. Suggestions graciously appreciated.

Thank you for explaining this. I have found that reducing, but not eliminating, carbs has helped me to lose 20 pounds in the past 6 months. Reading the full study was difficult, but it gave me encouragement that, after I lose the rest of the weight that I want to get rid of, there will be a better chance of maintaining that weight in the long run than I have after previous weight losses.

Yes Bill you are correct! I started reading Dr. Atkins book when it first came out and kept up with his books and his diet, which always works! Yes he has been vindicated, but the true believers, like us, knew better all along.

I have been on a high-fat low-carb diet for the past few months. I wanted to lose a few pounds and kick the sugar habit. Those goals were accomplished and the side benefit I never expected was that my achy joints feel better than they have in years.

164 participants is too small a number to give me confidence.

lol – Dr. Atkins way of eating has been around for decades and thousands have lost weight and improved their health because of the low carb lifestyle. Kudos to you Dr. Atkins. Now you can really rest in peace.

This all makes a lot of sense but what about the Blue Zones? These pockets of healthy people all over the world including in Loma Linda , CA, put us all to shame. They have more centenarians , and heart disease and dementia are scarce. They all also eat a relatively high carb diet and all eat some kind of beans as a mainstay of their diet. None eat highly processed food or refined carbs and veggies are star. Protein and fat are both low in these groups which are mostly vegetarian with only meat occasionally. I hope you will add Dan Buettner on your interview schedule. I understand how people including me can be so confused and are willing to do the right thing, if only we knew what it was!

Does the study distinguish between healthy carbs (whole-grain) and refined carbs? Not all carbs are created alike!

Today’s grains are not the grains of old.

Any time you eat carbs insulin is released to help those grains which get converted to glucose into cells for energy. Problem is when insulin is in your blood you cannot burn your fat or basically lose weight. Today’s food industry has all these protein bars they want you to eat to give you energy and protein before exercising but you cannot eat before exercising as all carbs will require insulin but not proteins or fats. Many of these bars have glucose releasing substances.

If you avoid all grains, the only carbs you can eat are fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index meaning low glucose production. More glucose in carbs requires more insulin. Fasting is healthier than eating 3 times a day unless you do heavy manual labor in my opinion. The idea we need 3 meals a day is pushed by the food industry who wants to sell more food for profits. They could care less about your health.

I have been limiting my calories to 1200-1500 per day for three months and have lost 25 lbs. But the important part is that my diet is, by default, low in carbs. If it was not, I might starve! A cup of rice has 200 calories vs a cup of cauliflower rice that has 15. If I ate a lot of carbs I would use up my daily allowance of calories by noon. I have tried just reducing carbs before and although I was more clear headed and felt better, I did not lose weight. It is coupling low carb intake with limited calories that has finally worked for me. I use the app My Fitness Pal to count calories and love it!

Our ancestors did not have access to refined carbs and sugar. They ate vegetables and fruits and fat and protein. Seems like what we evolved eating would be best. They also were on the move all day foraging, hunting, etc. That would seem to indicate a need for exercise would be selected for as well.

Sugar and refined carbs are cheap to make and very profitable. Again, money seems to be the motivator. Hmmm, I wonder if there is collusion between “big food” being willing to sacrifice the health of humanity for profit and “big pharma/medicine” reaping the financial benefit of all the harm done.

With your last paragraph, you may be on to something :-)

It always amuses me somewhat when people talk about what our ancestors did, a if they were healthier than us. Yet most were dead by the age of 40!

All Vegetables ARE carbs. So I think when people talk about “a low carbohydrate diet” they need to be much more precise in naming those carbohydrates that are not beneficial to maintaining it. There are only the following classifications when it comes to food: carbohydrates, fat and protein.

I am on a low carb diet to control blood sugar. This has worked very well. The problem is that I am very thin and it is hard to maintain a healthy weight. I eat a lot of healthy fats such as nuts and avocados. To add to the problem, I don’t tolerate dairy. Any suggestions?

Hi . These such experts are a load of bull , they keep coming up with such crap .
Everybody’s metabolism is different so each ones diet is different.
Natural way is always best whether you want to gain weight or lose it . There is only one pill for diet and also for health , and that is exercise .

You might want to look into hyperthyroidism if you are very thin and eat a lot.

I understand the test results and applaud them as far as being a healthy diet. However, as far as JUST loosing weight , if you exercise DAILY and burn up more calories than you take in, you will loose weight! Loosing weight and a healthy diet are not necessarily the same.

I am so glad the research continues and shows positive results. I am a believer. Four years ago, my blood sugar tested high and I got the “speech” from my doctor. He wanted to put me on Metformin then, but I said no – – what could I do to change it? That’s when I began to thoroughly study the low carb way of life and how it could help. I am proud to say, that I’ve lost 30 pounds and on no medication, and my blood sugar is very stable and my A1C is awesome ! YEAH ME ! Keep spreading the word.

Happy to see Peoples Pharmacy so quickly covered this new research. It is elegant.
Also extremely happy to see that Jason Fung is featured this week. All this ties together. Fung’s Intermittent fasting results in Ketosis. A low carb high fat diet (LCHF) also results in Ketosis. When combined the effect is magnified and there is rapid weight loss. Have been doing both for 3 months with rapid weight loss and feeling fabulous. It cuts inflammation drastically so helps many conditions including arthritis
and autoimmune. I have no soreness after heavy workouts!

I became diabetic in 2004. I have eaten a low carb, no added sugar, dairy free, grain free diet ever since. I cook all of our meals, and my husband eats what I eat. At first, I lost 60 pounds in 4 months without feeling hungry. I have maintained my weight and blood sugar ever since with diet alone. I feel good and have no issues with “arthritis” even though I had arthritis symptoms before I changed my diet. I am now 69 years old.

We’ve been eating a low-carb, grain-free, sugar-free diet for more than 10 years. At ages 68 and 72, we are full of energy and have no aches or pains from arthritis or other ‘old-age’ issues. We eat loads of vegetables, home-raised meats and plenty of fat and eggs. This has kept our weight down over the years and we seem to thrive on this diet.

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