Calories Count? Or Carbs? Or What?

Calorie Counters Have it Right, Diet Study Says

Recently released information in the Wall Street Journal shows that calories do count—that it isn’t what you eat, but how much. Participants were put in one of four diet groups—2 low-fat groups and 2 high-fat groups, with a high-protein and normal-protein groups being the other parameter. All diets were 35% to 65% carbohydrates, low calorie, high fiber and participants needed to exercise 90 minutes per week. The structured diet was 750 calories below the calculated amount to fuel his or her activity. There was an average weight loss of 13 pounds over the 6 month study. Dr. Agatston, a cardiologist and author of the South Beach Diet, says that measuring your food will not work in the long run. His diet restricts carbohydrates and gets people off their unhealthy food habits.

SPECIAL NOTICE: Watch this site and my Daily Health Secret, because Monday, March 23, I’ll be asking you to fill out a quick survey to finalize the Sweet Freedom training program details!

My take on this: It’s interesting that such a strong conclusion can be made on the importance of calorie counting, while totally dismissing the role carbohydrates play in this whole process of fat deposition and removal. The two examples given in the article included carbohydrate intakes of 170 gm/day and 150 gm/day, well above what I would recommend at 60 to 100 gm/day. Think what dropping carbs could do in the above study. The body’s natural way to decrease glucose levels in the body is through a biochemical pathway that makes triglycerides. The higher glucose levels in the blood increase insulin excretion, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin is the most inflammatory substance the body makes, and it also blocks the breakdown of triglycerides into energy. Triglycerides are the building blocks of cholesterol. I join the camp that maintains that much of the obesity problem of America is related to the high carbohydrate diets that emerged as part of the low-fat push decades ago.

6 Comments

  • Susan
    March 20, 2009 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Dr. Gardner, for getting the word out about carbs. We need people like you to keep us informed. I am so grateful to you for often referencing excerpts from Jorge Cruise. As a result I have visited his website where he addresses the sugar to carb ratio and how important that is for weight loss and overall good health. It makes sense and is easy to follow. Keep bringing us the good info to assist us in truly becoming and staying healthy.
    Susan

  • Jean Zwingli
    March 22, 2009 - 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I would like some information on Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – I know that Cranio Sacral therapy helps – but I have never heard what causes it?

  • March 23, 2009 - 5:30 am | Permalink

    Jean, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) has recently been given a new name, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It is an abnormal sympathetic sensitivity which permits pain sensation to be perceived by the brain when there is no pain present. Often any touch, change in temperature, wind or any minor stimulation will send these messages. It is usually triggered by a trauma that injured these sympathetic nervous system connections-a trauma that may not be that significant. It can be a devastating condition, with very few truly effective treatments. Energy work (like CranioSacral therapy) may help. Aggressive treatment with microcurrents may also help.

  • Carla
    April 9, 2009 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Do you have any articles on dealing with Systemic Lupus Erythmatosis? This is the first time I have seen your website, and it is very interesting. Thank you,
    Carla

  • April 20, 2009 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Carla, The autoimmune diseases, which SLE is a classic systemic disease, has not yet been comprehensively addressed in my website. It is forthcoming, but I don’t know when. A person with SLE should do all the healthy things recommended in an effort to improve the immune system and reduce the severity of the disease.

  • June 18, 2010 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Doctor Gardner!!

    Your description in “My Take on This” is a very concise and accurate description of the pboblems associated with a low fat diet, which of course is the same thing as a high carbohydrate diet.

    Great job!

    Please let us feature you on DoctorWatch. You can reply to my request on the contact form on our site.

    Thank you,

    Gary Springer,
    Perfect Health Institute
    http://www.PerfectHealthInstitute.com

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