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.
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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.