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-   -   Scientists say Carbs are Bad! (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-news-current-events/220041-scientists-say-carbs-bad.html)

PaulaM 12-19-2010 11:22 PM

Scientists say Carbs are Bad!
 
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-...,5464425.story

sazzysexysarah 12-20-2010 09:27 AM

I wish they could make up there minds lol

kaplods 12-20-2010 09:59 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 10:08 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 11:42 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 01:15 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 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stellarosa27 (Post 3614363)
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 07:25 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 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaplods (Post 3615756)
... 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 02:33 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 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaplods (Post 3637301)
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 11:11 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 09:34 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 11:09 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 02:58 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!


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