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May 24, 2009 07:39 PM

more news about long-term implications of low-carb diets

don't intend for this thread to get inflammatory- I can't argue any more low- and no-carb dieters or the mods may well revoke my membership- but I thought this was important food- and diet-related information to share with my fellow eaters.

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  1. Interesting article, but my initial thoughts are that nineteen people is an incredibly insignificant number of people for a double blind study on such a subject! Good grief. My second response is that there is not much in life that cannot have a negative impact on human memory. Our emotions, our endocrine systems, our fuel (food) can all have a negative impact. My instincts tell me that eating a balanced pre-20th century diet is probably a good common sense way to go. But don't use pewter dishes or flatware that contains lead! And wash your hands often. Follow that and you should be okay.

    To put it another way, "the world's oldest woman," when asked on network TV last week, how to live to a ripe old age, her answer was simple: "Don't die." Wisdom of the aged!

    1. To Caroline1's point. 19 is a really small sample. The article does not say what the duration of the study is and whether they have done anything to filter out any other factors from the study. It sounds like the study was done to find a quick and dirty way to refute low carb diets.

      There have also been studies that show that ANY diet will work and end with vastly similar results. The best of which is a balanced restricted calorie diet. In addition, studies have also shown that diets by themselves do not work in terms of keeping the weight off. Exercise and diet together will take the weight off and keep the weight off in the long term.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Phaedrus

        One thing for sure is that people on low carb diets forget how great pasta is :)

        1. re: tpigeon

          Like my Italian friends say, American pastas are overcooked and easily forgettable. But if you are talking properly cooked Italian pastas, totally different.

      2. I don't have any personal bias for or against low carb diets. However, I do become annoyed when "experts" present unsubstantiated and unsupportable information as "fact". I become even more annoyed when they direct the uninformed to follow one specific "correct" path that may or may not be appropriate for them.

        While this article is certainly interesting, it doesn't show us the actual study. The quoted sample size is absurdly small and comprises women only. We have no details about the the nutritional content of either the "low carb" diet or the "low calorie but balanced" diet. We don't know anything about the initial weight or the body mass of the individuals in the study groups. The study lasted all of three weeks.

        In short, the study quoted in this article tells us nothing valuable about anything. We also don't know how the writer's personal biases entered into her conclusions. People with RD credentials are notoriously biased against low carb diets.

        The writer directs readers to visit the" USDA's MyPyramid Web site, or see a registered dietitian". The "USDA Food Pyramid" and "Canada's Food Guide" specify different daily nutritional "requirements" for people with identical characteristics. This implies that changing one's country of residence changes one's daily nutritional requirements. Which is, of course, absurd.

        Where one lives DOES influence nutritional needs. For example, a resident of the far north in either the US or Canada needs much more vitamin D than someone living in a sunny climate. However, the respective food guides don't address such issues. Different people have different nutritional needs based on a wide range of known and unknown factors.

        Low carb diets are, as the writer states, "notoriously difficult to adhere to for long periods of time". Indeed, all restrictive eating plans are difficult to maintain over long time periods.

        Assuming an actual medical need to lose weight, the "best" diet for any individual is the one that they can stick to. For many people, this will mean altering their eating plan many times along the way.

        "Balanced" diets don't work at all when the dieter needs to see quick results to stay motivated. Low carb diets don't play nicely with some people's metabolisms, but work brilliantly for others. "Yo-yo" dieting isn't healthy for anyone under any circumstances, and does not bedevil low carb dieters only.

        1 Reply
        1. re: embee

          Well-put. I'd agree, not a valuable article.