Weight Loss News and Current Events - Scientists say Carbs are Bad!




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PaulaM
12-19-2010, 10:22 PM
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-carbs-20101220,0,5464425.story


sazzysexysarah
12-20-2010, 08:27 AM
I wish they could make up there minds lol

kaplods
12-20-2010, 08:59 AM
I don't think it's scientists who can't make up their minds, it's the tendency for average people to misinterpret the research results (and in "common wisdom" it's not at all unusual for opinions to vacillate from extreme to extreme - people tend to like easy to remember, extreme, one-size-fits-all advice over middle-of-the-road, use moderation and find-what-works-for-your-body advice).

Scientists did not say "carbs are bad!" they conducted research that found ill effects from excessively high-carb diets.

That doesn't mean "never eat carbs," it means "too many carbs, and some types of carbs (highly refined, super fast digesting ones) can have negative health effects, and very low fat diets aren't as healthy as once thought).

More often than not, research gets taken out of context, because the people reporting the research aren't scientists and they're trying to oversimplify the results, so the media tends to report catchy headlines (like "carbs are bad,") rather than "in our experiment, we found that many people did better with weight loss and some health issues on a low-carb diet."

Sometimes it's like saying "scientists cant make up their minds because some say that vitamin A is bad, and other's say it's good."

When what scientists really reported was the ill effects of both too much and too little.

People hate middle-of-the-road, experiment-and-use-good-judgement advice. People want easy advice that essentially translates into dividing foods into two categories "never eat," and "eat tons of, whenever you want."


I have to cut carbs pretty drastically to lose weight and feel my best (too high a carb diet triggers rashes, pain, fatigue and other health issues), but even having to cut carbs drastically does not mean I see carbs as bad. It's just revised my definition of moderation. I used to see six or more servings of fruit as moderation, now I see it as too much. I used to see three tsp of fat as moderation, now I see six as ok (and 12 is still too many).

It's a lot harder to wrap your mind around moderation, especially if every one may have different needs. People tend to want one-size-fits-all advice so that they don't have to mess with self-experiments or working with a dietitian.


Heather
12-20-2010, 09:08 AM
Kaplods, :bravo: great post. I do some research on how people misinterpret research in the media, and I think you're right on so many levels.

Add in that sometimes research focuses on just a particular group of people, and we don't know if the results apply to other groups of people.

For example, a particular diet may work well for people without carb sensitivity, but NOT for people who process carbs differently. But the research as reported rarely makes these distinctions.

nelie
12-20-2010, 10:42 AM
Yeah carbs aren't bad, I guess the person writing the article doesn't know much about carbs.

This quote probably sums it up best:
"If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."

Although I'm not sure about potatoes, I've seen some positive research in regards to potatoes. And white rice is a staple in many asian countries that have occurences of low obesity/diabetes so although I'm not a fan of white rice, I'm not sure grouping it in there is fair. I think mostly it is about the fact that Americans as a whole eat a lot of processed carbs that are often grouped with added fats is an issue.

And then even in the article, it has a dissenting opinion:
Joanne Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota and a member of the advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is less inclined to support the movement. The committee, she says, "looked at carbohydrates and health outcomes and did not find a relationship between carbohydrate intake and increased disease risk."

Most Americans need to reduce calories and increase activity, Slavin adds. Cutting down on carbs as a calorie source is a good strategy, "but making a hit list of carbohydrate-containing foods is shortsighted and doomed to fail, similar to the low-fat rules that started in the 1980s."

stellarosa27
12-20-2010, 12:15 PM
I'm with kaplods.

Vegetables and fruits are carbs. I'm pretty sure scientists don't say that those are bad...

kaplods
12-21-2010, 01:48 PM
I'm with kaplods.

Vegetables and fruits are carbs. I'm pretty sure scientists don't say that those are bad...

... but I think it's important to still realize that anything, even fruits and vegetables, can be unhealthy or a poor choice, if you're eating them too excess or eating them to the neglect of other foods, or if you have problems/issues when you eat those foods.

Sure it takes a lot more green beans than potato chips to reach the "poor choice" level, but it's so important to look at all foods within the context of the whole diet, and not just one meal or even one day at a time.

It's the big picture that is so hard to see when you try to pidgeon hole foods into neat, orderly categories like "good for you," and "unhealthy." It's never that simple.

We really need to fight the urge to oversimplify.

milmin2043
12-21-2010, 06:25 PM
This quote probably sums it up best:
"If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."


Yep. That's what I was thinking as well. Funny thing is, until I read the article, I didn't even realize that the things mentioned in this /\ /\ /\ sentence are all of the food items that I have completely cut out. I am still able to eat many carbs at will, just not junky carbs and I have lost a ton of weight in a short time.

I agree with kaplods, it's the all or nothing mentality that hurts us.

stellarosa27
12-22-2010, 10:32 AM
... but I think it's important to still realize that anything, even fruits and vegetables, can be unhealthy or a poor choice, if you're eating them too excess or eating them to the neglect of other foods, or if you have problems/issues when you eat those foods.

Sure it takes a lot more green beans than potato chips to reach the "poor choice" level, but it's so important to look at all foods within the context of the whole diet, and not just one meal or even one day at a time.

It's the big picture that is so hard to see when you try to pidgeon hole foods into neat, orderly categories like "good for you," and "unhealthy." It's never that simple.

We really need to fight the urge to oversimplify.

Right. The key is moderation, which seems simple, but really isn't.

kaplods
01-06-2011, 01:33 PM
I've been dieting since 1971 (I was in kindergarten), and over the last 40, I've seen the pendulum swing back and forth between low-carb and low-fat several times.

Personally, I think scientists are still asking the wrong questions. Instead of "which diet is best," they need to be looking into "for whom."

A few diets attempt to address this, but far more research needs to be put into finding out WHY low-fat works better for some people, and low-carb works better for others. Is there a way to predict which diet a person will do best on, or will trial and error always be the best method?

I think we actually have to get rid of the "every diet will work, if you work it," mentality - but while it can be true, the reasons people find some diets unworkable needs to be addressed better.

I spent most of my life spinning my wheels, because I didn't know that low-carb was the best diet for me. I thought I just needed to put more effort into low-calorie. I worked harder, not smarter. I thought low-carb was unhealthy because I trusted my doctors' opinions. When my doctor recommended low-carb I was skeptical until I got a second opinion.

WOW, the difference is amazing. I just wish I'd learned this earlier in my life. It's hard to unlearn 40 years of habit (especially when we live in such a carb-heavy environment).

Heather
01-06-2011, 04:32 PM
Personally, I think scientists are still asking the wrong questions. Instead of "which diet is best," they need to be looking into "for whom."



I think you're so right. They might find different results if they ask different questions. When I teach research methods, I talk about paying attention to the sample. If the sample is all men (as all clinical drug trials used to be) how can we know they apply to women?

If the researchers didn't focus on X, Y or Z in their sample, then the results might not apply to X, Y or Z.

It's one of the many reasons why it's difficult to do good research on diets (and exercise)... Most research studies don't generalize beyond the parameters in which they were conducted.

stellarosa27
01-07-2011, 10:11 AM
I completely agree, Kaplods. Everyone has different bodies, physiologies, even different ways of thinking - why should one weight loss method be the cure for EVERYONE?

I think it also boils down to people don't like complicated answers. They just want a quick and simple solution to the problem, and you know what, there won't be one. Yes, weight loss is technically "calories in vs calories out" but the more complicated part of that is WHAT KIND OF CALORIES!?

Many work better on low-carb or low-fat - and these methods really do work for people. Myself? If I eat low-carb/fat, I can't function. I have no energy, my muscles are sore, I'm grumpy, my nails break, my hair falls out and I just generally feel like I'm falling apart. That's led me to realize, hey, this isn't the way for me...

It would be so great if you could go to the doctor and they give you some sort of personalized plan based on blood tests, experiences, etc, instead of just saying "cut out high fats, sugars, dairy and red meat" (as my doc originally said to me).

Partly why I'm excited that I'm going into public health - I really want to try and make a difference in this area.

graycyn
01-07-2011, 08:34 PM
YAY Kaplods!

So WITH your post! To me, carbs aren't bad, fat isn't bad, protein isn't bad, salt isn't bad, eggs aren't bad, you name it. It's just a matter of being moderate and choosing our food wisely. Balance is nice.

I don't do that well if my carbs go super low, I start to crave fat and eat too much of it, erasing any deficit. I also lose energy. Mind you, if I go low fat, and eat too much in the way of starchy or sugary carbs, I start to go overboard on carbs. Eating in a balanced matter, I stay more sane and stick to it better.

Even there, I allow myself one or two higher calorie days a week and the ability to have a treat or two, even those that aren't "good for you". As the rest of my eating is mostly whole and unprocessed foods, I figure I am good to go.

shcirerf
01-07-2011, 10:09 PM
Kaplods, you are a wise woman! :hug:

As far as research goes, and what is bad or good, my husband and I would confound researchers.

He is 6' tall and at 52 at his highest weight ever of a whole 165 pounds. Given, he has always had a manual labor job, but he can eat/drink around 3000 calories a day, of crappy food and hooch, and not gain an ounce. In his mind, gravy is a food group. His health numbers are all good, blood sugar, good, cholesterol good, liver enzymes good! Smokes like a freight train. He has been having bouts of atrial fibrilation, that he had surgery for on Wednesday. Has nothing to do with diet. He's had darn near every test known to medicine since March, with no ill affects, other than the a-fib. Drives me nuts.

On the other hand, I can not eat anything with any sugar at all early in the morning or I get hypoglycemic, shaky, nauseous, fainty. I have to watch my diet or my cholesterol gets high. My blood pressure is ok. I do best on a lean high protein, lots of fresh veggies and fruit regimin, and must leave processed food alone. Carb wise, I'm fine with whole grain breads, and one serving of potato every other day or so, as long as it's baked, and not fried or covered in cheese sauce or the like.

Another odd thing, I have 2 sisters, chocolate gives me a stomach ache, makes one sis head off to poo, the other one, no worries at all.

The powers that be in the research industry can research all they want, but we have to figure out what works for us, and go with that balance.

jon123
01-14-2011, 01:58 PM
Yep, no scientists have said "carbs are bad". For a long time science has said that refined carbs are bad, but low GI carbs are good.

Carbs are in fact essential to diet. Carbs are needed for glycogen which fuels muscles and the brain, without that we would not get much done!

fiddler
03-25-2011, 03:47 PM
It's amazing that the human race managed to survive for so long before we had scientists to tell us what, when, and how much to eat. :rofl:

WASaBubbleButt
03-25-2011, 04:30 PM
I wish they could make up there minds lol

Really, when it comes to white carbs such as sugar and flour they have now. I don't think anyone is suggesting a high sugar diet anymore. HA! However in the 70s and 80s nutritionists were on the low fat kick. They blamed fat for everything. Dietary fat doesn't get us fat, carbs do. It's the way carbs work with insulin that causes fat storage, not dietary fat.

A person I know from another board was wanting weight loss surgery and she was going through all her dieting attempts for the insurance company. She ran across the written instructions from her nutritionist in the 70s. The NUT said that she should feel free to eat all the bread and pasta she wanted. She provided an example, she should have a bagel with jelly on it but NO butter or cream cheese.

Since that time a lot of research has been done and today we know how carbs and insulin work to store fat. That wasn't known way back when.

I maintain easily at goal, the only thing I count is white carbs. I can eyeball protein at this point and get my 60gms daily. I eat a full fat diet but again, the only thing I count is white carbs. I couldn't tell you how many calories I eat, I have no idea.

We need fat in our diet. We need fat to burn fat. We don't have any dietary need for flour, sugar, or rice.

Yep, no scientists have said "carbs are bad". For a long time science has said that refined carbs are bad, but low GI carbs are good.

Carbs are in fact essential to diet. Carbs are needed for glycogen which fuels muscles and the brain, without that we would not get much done!

No, really carbs are not essential to the human diet. Your body will convert fat stores into brain food. :)

I am kicking myself for not saving a study I read a few weeks ago. It was about a tribe of people from some country... can't remember where. But these people never eat carbs. No plants, nothing. They hunt and eat meat only. They have virtually no heart disease, no diabetes, no obesity, none of it. This is why they permitted doctors to study them.

Dietary fat doesn't make us fat, carbs do.

Heather
03-25-2011, 05:48 PM
I am kicking myself for not saving a study I read a few weeks ago. It was about a tribe of people from some country... can't remember where. But these people never eat carbs. No plants, nothing. They hunt and eat meat only. They have virtually no heart disease, no diabetes, no obesity, none of it. This is why they permitted doctors to study them.


We need to be careful not to draw the wrong conclusions from such research. Their lack of those diseases isn't necessarily because of their diet. There could be something in their genetic makeup or something else about their lifestyle, or a combination of factors that cause that result.

We don't know that this result would occur for everyone if they never ate carbs.

WASaBubbleButt
03-25-2011, 06:03 PM
We need to be careful not to draw the wrong conclusions from such research. Their lack of those diseases isn't necessarily because of their diet. There could be something in their genetic makeup or something else about their lifestyle, or a combination of factors that cause that result.

We don't know that this result would occur for everyone if they never ate carbs.

Well, my point is that carbs are not essential for health. Besides, considering diet is key for health, they are healthier than us.

morecowbell
03-25-2011, 10:08 PM
With all due respect, I think carbs are essential for optimum health! Fruits and vegetables, which are of course,carbs, should be the foundation of a healthy diet. They are loaded with vitamins, antioxidents, phytonutrients etc, that are essential for good health. Legumes are bursting with good things! I think the key is balance..having a good balance of good lean protein, healthy fats and healthy non processed carbs.

EZMONEY
03-27-2011, 08:09 AM
Well, my point is that carbs are not essential for health. Besides, considering diet is key for health, they are healthier than us.

I bet that tribe did not have TV ~ Computer Games ~ pesticides ~ smog ~ cigarettes ~ alcohol ~ microwave food ~ preservatives ~ cars.....

WASaBubbleButt
03-27-2011, 12:07 PM
I bet that tribe did not have TV ~ Computer Games ~ pesticides ~ smog ~ cigarettes ~ alcohol ~ microwave food ~ preservatives ~ cars.....

Nope, I'm sure they don't. But they also don't have carbs and they are still doing better than us.

EZMONEY
03-27-2011, 03:45 PM
Nope, I'm sure they don't. But they also don't have carbs and they are still doing better than us.

No offense here...but I think maybe you missed my point...or maybe I missed yours :?:

nelie
03-29-2011, 02:09 PM
Well, my point is that carbs are not essential for health. Besides, considering diet is key for health, they are healthier than us.

But there have been other studies on other tribes that eat lots of carbs and have the same results. I recently read a study about peruvians that eat mostly potatoes (70% of their calories come from potatoes). They have no heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

Also Born to Run is a great book that again talks about a culture where plenty of carbs are eating but disease is uncommon. The one thing they do engage in is exercise and lots of it.

So it seems that it isn't carbs so it must be something else. Personally, I think eating whole foods, limited processed foods and plenty of exercise seems to be the difference.

WASaBubbleButt
03-29-2011, 02:16 PM
But there have been other studies on other tribes that eat lots of carbs and have the same results. I recently read a study about peruvians that eat mostly potatoes (70% of their calories come from potatoes). They have no heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

Also Born to Run is a great book that again talks about a culture where plenty of carbs are eating but disease is uncommon. The one thing they do engage in is exercise and lots of it.

So it seems that it isn't carbs so it must be something else. Personally, I think eating whole foods, limited processed foods and plenty of exercise seems to be the difference.

And I agree with you. But it would appear we are both wrong, it isn't carbs keeping us healthy. It is something different.

nelie
03-29-2011, 02:25 PM
And I agree with you. But it would appear we are both wrong, it isn't carbs keeping us healthy. It is something different.

Its not that 'carbs are keeping us healthy', it is that carbs aren't making us unhealthy. Our bodies primary energy source is glucose which comes from carbs. Our bodies are highly adaptable which means we can use fat and protein for energy but can only store fat (and small amounts of glucose). There are certain nutrients that your body needs that only comes from plants (such as vitamin C) so you can suffer from some forms of malnutrition by not eating some plants (which do contain carbs but its the nutrients we need).

So just 'carbs' aren't making us unhealthy, something we are not doing or doing is affecting us adversely in the development of various diseases. I personally think lack of exercise is one of those things. I also think highly processed foods are also to blame.

WASaBubbleButt
03-29-2011, 02:31 PM
Its not that 'carbs are keeping us healthy', it is that carbs aren't making us unhealthy. Our bodies primary energy source is glucose which comes from carbs. Our bodies are highly adaptable which means we can use fat and protein for energy but can only store fat (and small amounts of glucose). There are certain nutrients that your body needs that only comes from plants (such as vitamin C) so you can suffer from some forms of malnutrition by not eating some plants (which do contain carbs but its the nutrients we need).

So just 'carbs' aren't making us unhealthy, something we are not doing or doing is affecting us adversely in the development of various diseases. I personally think lack of exercise is one of those things. I also think highly processed foods are also to blame.

Again, we agree.

Suzanne 3FC
03-29-2011, 07:57 PM
It's a complete misuse of the word Carbohydrates.

Every fruit and vegetable is in the carb group. They contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are not found in other types of foods. Eliminate or reduce too much and you'll eventually pay the price. In that respect, "carbs" will never be bad :)

The article specifically targets sugar and refined grains.

QuilterInVA
03-31-2011, 01:35 PM
I don't think all carbs are bad, it is the simple carbs that give everyone grief. We all need some complex carbs. Carbs are the easiest thing for our body to process - and the excess goes to fat storage. Protein and Fat require more processing by the body so burn more calories for that before there is anything to store.

WASaBubbleButt
03-31-2011, 02:05 PM
I don't think all carbs are bad, it is the simple carbs that give everyone grief. We all need some complex carbs. Carbs are the easiest thing for our body to process - and the excess goes to fat storage. Protein and Fat require more processing by the body so burn more calories for that before there is anything to store.

While I agree with you that some carbs are essential, there are studies that would disagree with us.

There are entire communities of people that have never eaten a plant. They survive on meat alone and they are healthier than us.

nelie
03-31-2011, 02:18 PM
While I agree with you that some carbs are essential, there are studies that would disagree with us.

There are entire communities of people that have never eaten a plant. They survive on meat alone and they are healthier than us.


How do they not get scurvy and other nutrient deficiencies from nutrients found only in plants?

EZMONEY
04-01-2011, 07:15 PM
I bet that tribe did not have TV ~ Computer Games ~ pesticides ~ smog ~ cigarettes ~ alcohol ~ microwave food ~ preservatives ~ cars.....

Nope, I'm sure they don't. But they also don't have carbs and they are still doing better than us.

Not that anybody cares but what I was trying to point out WASaBubbleButt is that they probably don't have all the other things that we have and use that potentially harm us :)

WASaBubbleButt
04-01-2011, 07:37 PM
How do they not get scurvy and other nutrient deficiencies from nutrients found only in plants?

I have no idea. I keep kicking myself for not saving the study.

Not that anybody cares but what I was trying to point out WASaBubbleButt is that they probably don't have all the other things that we have and use that potentially harm us :)

I got it the first time. :) I even knew it before you mentioned it.

kaplods
04-02-2011, 12:02 AM
How do they not get scurvy and other nutrient deficiencies from nutrients found only in plants?

Some of the nutrients we think of as "found only in plants" really aren't. Sea mammal blubber (fat from whale and seals), is reported to be exceptionally high in Vitamin C (with more vitamin C per kilo than oranges).

In the modern SAD (standard american diet) many of the nutrients we can get "only from plants" can come from other sources, but they're sources we're not normally willing to eat (insects, organ meats, blood, skin, bones...).

The meat-eating people referred to in the reference study were Inuit people (Eskimos) of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska and while their traditional diet is "almost exclusively animal protein," that almost is very important, because they do eat some plant foods, just not many and not all year round. Blueberries and related berries for example are very high in Vitamin C (which is the nutrient that prevents scurvy), and the Inuit do eat berries when they're available (often mixed with seal blubber (also high in vitamin C) to create a traditional treat akutaq, called Eskimo ice cream).

The Inuit also used plants medicinally, for example brewing a tea or tonic from stinkweed.

Neanderthin and other ancestor and "primal" diets often quote the research of these people as well as other aboriginal hunter/gathering people who eat very little plant food (or at least receive very few calories from plant foods, but use plants as seasonings and medications)

Exercise is also a variable too often left out of the equation. Hunting and hunting/gethering cultures generally require quite a lot of movement (and physical games are very popular in traditional Inuit culture).

nelie
04-02-2011, 08:03 AM
Some of the nutrients we think of as "found only in plants" really aren't. Sea mammal blubber (fat from whale and seals), is reported to be exceptionally high in Vitamin C (with more vitamin C per kilo than oranges).


The opposite is also true in that people associate certain nutrients to meat those nutrients are also found in plants. My mind immediately jumped to scurvy as it was a common disease hundreds of years ago with sailors and pirates who went for long periods of time without access to plants.

I also am aware of the studies on the Inuit and although their plant sources are limited I remember reading that their diet wasn't just meat.

VillageGirl
04-03-2011, 12:57 AM
I bet that tribe did not have TV ~ Computer Games ~ pesticides ~ smog ~ cigarettes ~ alcohol ~ microwave food ~ preservatives ~ cars.....


I think you might be on to something, EZMONEY!

kaplods
04-05-2011, 04:15 PM
For some reason, I can't see page 3 of this thread, anyone else having this problem?

kaplods
04-05-2011, 04:16 PM
Even weirder, my previous post "appears" on page 2, but page 3 is still listed, but unavailable (when I click it, I still end up back on page 2).

Weird glitch!

_______

Ok, this post is now on page 3, and I don't see any other posts.

Ok, so I guess, uh, never mind (turns out I wasn't missing anything).

Still strange though (of course, now it looks like I was delusional).

Heather
04-05-2011, 07:38 PM
You can change the number of posts per page. under "edit options" near the bottom. I set mine to 40 posts per page so there are fewer pages to scroll through.

deetermined2
04-09-2011, 04:10 PM
I believe that a large part of the obesity epidemic is caused by all of the "unnatural foods" that are part of the main stream American diet.

Most of our meat supply is shot-up with hormones and antibiotics, as well as being fed grains specifically designed to fatten the meat, but which fattens us as well. Grain fed meat also lacks the CLA which we need to preserve muscle mass and remain lean.

Our dairy supply suffers from the same problems.

Our fruits and vegetables have high pesticide levels and lack the trace minerals that we need, because BigAg doesn't care about the consumer.

Our foods are full of man made chemical additives that our bodies can't handle.

Our grains have been hybridized a few times, making them more likely to cause allergic reactions in some people.

So I think it isn't just certain carbs that are bad for us,(and yes I am aware of and watch the glycemic index of the carbs I consume), but the US food supply, in general.

In Europe, many of the things that are allowed in the US food supply were banned in Europe in 1989, so over 20 years ago. I wish the US would catch up with Europe.

I wish US labeling laws would make full disclosure in readable terms mandatory. I think we should be told what our meat is shot-up with and what our vegetables are sprayed with so we can make informed decisions. One of my pet peeves is the way MSG is hidden under so many different names in products. It can be called hydrolized protein or even natural seasoning.