Friday, August 1, 2008

Carbohydrates: the New Fat

In a recent thread, i saw yet another reference decrying carbohydrates:
"If you refuse to restrict your carbs, then you need to at least change the type of carbs you eat. If you're sawing through a French baguette, it's time to focus on legumes, fruits, and vegetables while minimizing those grains and starches."

another claim from *one* study sited in the article is
When you cut carbs, you'll see greater weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, three times the abdominal fat loss (as shown in a new study by Dr. Volek), and improved vascular function (move over arginine).

Well what's the context? a survey of the past decade+ of papers doing low carb vs low fat diets finds that the differences are in the noise, not in significance. That indeed when we talk about carbohydrate sources, we need to be a little more sophisticated about what we mean - just like we've become with fats - before we throw the potato and the quinoa and the whole grain loaf out with the Krispy Kreams.

Here's an article i put together for iamgeekfit asking so just what the heck do we mean by a carbohydrate anyway.

IF you don't want to read the whole article, which is written mainly for students who know nothing about nutrients really, so some of it you will likely already know (though i hope there's a few insights) i'll skip to the end for you:

(1) best way to eat better: cut the crap - just cut out refined, over processed foods.

(2)if you want to lose weight eat less of WHATEVER and exercise more.

(3) As for the carb itself, it's our friend; it's critical for an athlete. What kind and when is more important than a carte blanche demand to reduce carbs, or more or less eliminate an entire nutrient from our diets. when really that just means starchy carbs, and it's even more subtle than that cuz we're talkin insulin index responses. argh. maybe read the article after all.


Drew said...

Nice article,

bad food is bad food - no matter what the main macronutrient involved is.

The more you have of these inappropriate foods you eat the worse your diet.

Often when people start breaking things down into their constituent chemistry all sense of perspective goes out the window. Good diet based on good choices with good timing and quantities.

dr. m.c. said...

thanks for stopping by, drew


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