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Old 12-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #16
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I'm sorry to go off topic here, but unfortunately with the ever increasing epidemics of obesity and its ensuing sequelae e.g. diabetes, etc... More and more people are going to have some "compelling" reasons to look at the carbs in their diets...
I'm a health/medical writer and have written dozens of articles about diabetes, both for physician and lay audiences. I have never come across any studies or expert opinion suggesting that carbs increase the risk of diabetes. Obesity does, regardless of how it's acquired. If you eat a lot of carbs and have a healthy BMI, you are not at added risk of diabetes.

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Old 12-18-2012, 01:30 AM   #17
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[quote=freelancemomma;4559238]I'm a health/medical writer and have written dozens of articles about diabetes, both for physician and lay audiences. I have never come across any studies or expert opinion suggesting that carbs increase the risk of diabetes. Obesity does, regardless of how it's acquired. If you eat a lot of carbs and have a healthy BMI, you are not at added risk of diabetes.

I'm sorry but I think you may have misinterpreted my post... My point is that we know obesity is a risk factor for developing diabetes... and that diabetics, as well as those who are prediabetic, not to mention those that have metabolic syndrome have very "compelling" reasons to be aware of the carbs in their diets...

Could you possibly provide links to your articles for healthcare professionals? I would be interested to read them...
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:09 AM   #18
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Really Freelance? That's completely contrary to a fair bit of expert and clinical evidence I've seen, even coming out in the last two years. Basic endocrinology requires insulin as the vehicle for moving energy into the body's cells, carbohydrates (both simple and complex, given the speed at which they are broken down) are the strongest nutritional signal for insulin release. Mediate insulin, you control obesity. Obesity cannot exist in the absence of insulin, among many other deleterious and fatal side effects (see type I diabetes, obviously!).

I'd start launching into links but if you haven't been convinced by the data sets in either medical texts or controlled studies on the endocrinology of adipocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy, I'm not going to convince you. Obesity is not causative of diabetes, but the insulin resistance inherent in type II diabetes is strongly correlative (and easily arguable to be causative) in the over accumulation of body fat, among many other symptoms.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:13 AM   #19
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And I'm a layperson, off topic, at 12:12 am. Time for bed and hanging up the hat of someone controlling carbohydrates specifically for the avoidance of otherwise inevitable metabolic syndrome.

Bye, friends
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #20
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This whole argument doesnt half confuse me Ive been looking at low carb diets for a while and while there are articles to support them there are equally as many articles to say that if you arent gluten/wheat/fructose etc intolerant then low carb doesnt produce any extra benefit. I really dont know what on earth to think on the matter anymore, it gives me a headache just trying to think it through and dig through all the science. Im calorie counting and dont specifically 'low-carb'. Saying that ive cut out all proccessed carbs from my diet and usually fall below 100g per day. Does that make me moderate carb? Its all very confusing.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #21
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I like calorie counting and I have the most success on it. I personally don't like a lot of refined carbs because they make me feel icky and bread is a weakness of mine so I keep the 'super healthy sprouted grains' bread in the house because I can have 2 pieces and be done. Good luck
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripSwitch View Post
I'm sorry to go off topic here, but unfortunately with the ever increasing epidemics of obesity and its ensuing sequelae e.g. diabetes, etc... More and more people are going to have some "compelling" reasons to look at the carbs in their diets... And even for those that don't have those issues who are just looking to lose some weight... would, I hope at least look at where the carbs in their diets are coming from...

But back to the OP... There are vegetarian and even vegan meal plans in the newer versions of Atkins now, so it's possible to do Atkins with no meat whatsoever... If you so choose...
Sorry to go off topic even more, but how would a vegan atkins diet work? I am a vegetarian, but I like to limit my animal products and try and only get organic when possible, so I do like to look for vegan alternatives. I also understand that I do better on a lower carb diet than on a reduced fat/higher carb diet.


I am aware of tofu, soy-based products and things like flaxseed and coconut flour as being generally lower carb, but I couldn't see myself relying on that much tofu/low carb 'flaxseed/coconut' bread for protein.

Thanks
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #23
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Obesity cannot exist in the absence of insulin, among many other deleterious and fatal side effects (see type I diabetes, obviously!).
You can become obese by eating too many calories, regardless of where those calories come from. Once you become obese, your metabolism becomes altered such that your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes increases. If you eat a lot of carbs and DON'T become obese or overweight, however, you don't incur these added risks. That was my only point (gleaned from many interviews with endocrinologist/diabetologists and review of peer-reviewed literature).

Edited to add: Here are three links to peer-reviewed meta-analyses/studies that collectively suggest:

a) it's excess weight, rather than macronutrient composition, that affects insulin metabolism and raises the risk of insulin resistance
b) losing weight improves insulin resistance, regardless of how you lose it
c) so-called 'slow carbs' (unrefined carbs with a lower glycemic index) may have some benefit on insulin metabolism, but total carb consumption does not.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23035144
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/con.../12/2832.short
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/2/538.short


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Old 12-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #24
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Time for bed and hanging up the hat of someone controlling carbohydrates specifically for the avoidance of otherwise inevitable metabolic syndrome.
That's a misleading statement. You might scare people into thinking that if they don't watch their carbs, they're guaranteed to get metabolic syndrome, which is not true. And I don't mean to be hurtful, but I found the tone in the statement a little offputting. It's like you were saying, "I'm going to get the last word in and then block my ears and leave the room." Can we agree to either remove such undertones from the discussion or ignore each other's posts?

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #25
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You can become obese by eating too many calories, regardless of where those calories come from. Once you become obese, your metabolism becomes altered such that your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes increases. If you eat a lot of carbs and DON'T become obese or overweight, however, you don't incur these added risks. That was my only point (gleaned from many interviews with endocrinologist/diabetologists and review of peer-reviewed literature).

F.
I agree that obesity leads to diabetes, regardless of the source of the fat. But in my case, I was not obese or overweight, and I was still headed for dangerously high blood sugar. At 112 lbs I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic with high blood sugar. Medication was suggested by my doc, and I opted to change to a lower carb diet instead. Never had a problem in my life with my blood sugar until I reached my mid-thirties. My diet at the time was heavily dependent on carbohydrates.

I also have vegetarian friends who have high-carb diets who are in perfect health.

*shrug* It's a craps shoot. But I do think, in certain people, a high-carb diet can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, regardless of weight/obesity. It certainly was that case for me.

As my hubby says: Genetics loads the gun. Environment pulls the trigger.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #26
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I don't know whether or not a highly processed high-carb diet can contribute to diabetes, but I do wonder whether it's possible, because I've read and heard in popular media (not medical journals, sources like Reader's Digest and Prevention magazine and the evening news) many times that diabetes rates are rising fastest and most dramatically in younger and thinner (even underweight) populations than ever before. So while obesity is known to be associated with diabetes, doctors and researchers (or so I've read) don't know how to explain the rising rates of diabetes in the populations formerly thought to be at lower risk.


Diet may play a role, although until more research is done, there are other equally likely factors (in my opinion), such as stress levels, sleep deprivation, vitamin D deficiency, and perhaps most likely of all, lack of exercise and perhaps even the type and location of fat (you're now hearing about "hidden obesity" in which people are of apparently healthy BMI, but have too much body fat and too little muscle).

It is all quite confusing, especially if you're trying to find the "best" diet for yourself without using yourself as a guinea pig to find out. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there IS any other way.

Personally, I've always felt that the least-restrictive method that provides the most variety, and does the job (of producing weight loss and general health and well-being) makes the most sense.

The basics are the easiest - less crap, more real food (foods that don't require a nutrition label), and more body movement.

I think we all can and should start there. I think the rest is all "tweaking."

For me, my path of tweaking came when I encountered (ironically enough) the FA acceptance movement and two magazines: the fashion magazine BBW (Big Beautiful Woman, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for fat women) and Radiance (focused more on the social politics of being fat). The prevailing theory in the FA literature at the time (the mid 90's) was that diets caused more obesity than they cured, and that if you ate healthfully and exercised, you would become healthy and reach a natural-for-you body weight.

Willing to give it a shot, I gave up dieting and started eating more fruits and vegetables (which I'd always eaten more than average of), fewer fried foods, and fewer processed carbs. I already was not a fan of fast food (and hadn't been since childhood) and relied on it only when I had to (which unfortunately I often did, as I was working two jobs at the time. Full time plus as a probation officer, and part-time as a college instructor).

Almost miraculously, my weight stabilized exactly as the FA theorists had predicted. I stopped gaining - but didn't start losing. I thought "crap, why couldn't I have discovered this at 150 lbs instead of at 360?"

Over my lifetime (since my first doctor-supervised diet in kindergarten), I've tried countless types of diets, and "reasonably low, but not too terribly low carb" has been a true miracle for me. My health problems have been resolving much faster than my weight issues, so I do suspect that it's the diet, not just the weight loss, especially since the health issues started improving long before I lost any weight or was able to do much exercise.

I did try all the "least restrictive" plans I could, first. And despite my own experience (or maybe because of it) I would recommend everyone do the same if they don't have any compelling reason to do otherwise.

I would suggest starting simplest, whatever that is for you. Calorie-counting and/or exchange plan diets are a good start, because any food can be incorporated into them. The "plate" method is also quite simple (assuming you're not using a plate the size of a table).

If those work, and you're feeling good, there's no reason to do anything else.



I think the most obvious answer to these questions is most overlooked, "experiment with different ways of eating until you find one that works for you - not just physically, but mentally as well. What way of eating do you most enjoy THAT allows you to manage your weight and health most effectively." Or even more simply "on which woe do you feel best - mentallly and physically?"

I wouldn't suggest that anyone START with low-carb, paleo, or even South Beach. Why go through all that if you don't have to? But if the calorie-counting isn't working (either because you don't seem to be losing well even on a very low-calorie plan, or because you find yourself unable to stick to the plan when you eat certain foods), then try something a little more restrictive or a little bit outside your comfort zone. Don't make any drastic changes if you don't need to.

Although I wonder, do I feel this way, because it's the path I took, or because I think it's the most sensible. Maybe we all should be rejecting processed foods of any type (though to do so on a global scale would mean drastically cutting our population first, or there'll be an epidemic of starvation deaths).

We do seem (even among the thin and underweight population) to becoming sicker and sicker as a nation. Autoimmune and other systemic diseases are on the rise, and in general "feeling like crap" is becoming "normal."

Dramatic lifestyle changes are popular. People tend not to be impressed when they're told "start small, make comfortable changes, and go from there."

You won't find many books that go there. Instead they're all proclaiming some version of "overhaul your life in 30 days or less."

I didn't come to low-carb that way. When my doctor suggested "low-carb, but not too low," I knew I'd have to experiment, but I didn't start at the lowest end and work up. I started where I was, and worked down.

And I think that goes back to my philosophy of "least restrictive method that works." At first I didn't have to give up anything, I just ate more of what I knew was good for me, and less of what I knew wasn't (the refined carbohydrates). When I made as many changes as I could in that area and wasn't yet at my weight and health goals, I started looking at the less-refined, but still highly processed foods - like whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas).

Unfortunately, there's always (in the USA, at least) been an adversarial approach to weight loss. Everyone divides into "camps" and hurls criticisms at each other. I think that reflects a mindset that assumes there is one, single diet that is best for everyone on the planet regardless of lifestyle, and I just don't believe it. I think that if you're young, healthy, and fit you probably don't have the exact same nutritional and dietary needs of someone who is old and fat with multiple health problems.

And yet, we still lump everyone together.

I don't know if I will always have to eat low-carb to manage my weight, fitness, and health (including the autoimmune issues). I tend to believe (at least until I have evidence ot the contrary) that the smaller, fitter, and healthier I get, the more resilient my body will become to dietary variables. I hopefully will be less insulin-resistant and may be able to eat more whole grains than I can now.

I don't have to worry about that, because I'm not there yet.

Well, I think I've rambled on enough. I've been accused of being "wishy-washy" and not being willing to "take a stand" for low-carb, but I don't think that's it. I just don't believe there are black-and-white guidelines that everyone must follow. I think that finding the right WOE is both simpler and more complicated than that. "Experiment until you find something you're happy with," is what we're all really left with. Ideally that experimentation is done with a basic understanding of at least rudimentary nutrition, but it's all any of us is really left with.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #27
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Kalplods, I swear you keep me sane and keep my brain from over frying! You always word things so logically and reasonably.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:55 PM   #28
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I agree Kaplods, I didn't start there either. The tweaks were necessary and made things much easier (fixed more underlying problems, too) and I wish I'd had a better understanding of nutrition and endocrinology when I began, but such is life.

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That's a misleading statement. You might scare people into thinking that if they don't watch their carbs, they're guaranteed to get metabolic syndrome, which is not true. And I don't mean to be hurtful, but I found the tone in the statement a little offputting. It's like you were saying, "I'm going to get the last word in and then block my ears and leave the room." Can we agree to either remove such undertones from the discussion or ignore each other's posts?

F.
What? No, I'm not removing my statement, or caveating it. *I* AM a layperson who is controlling carbohydrates specifically to prevent metabolic syndrome. I will have it if I do not, I am genetically prone and have already shown symptoms, as almost all people who eat up into the range of morbid obesity do. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying energy processing issue for folks like me, it's not simple appetite, gluttony, or a moral failing, but genuine hunger that drove me up the scale. The signalling for that hunger was chemical in nature, not just me liking donuts

I think you misread my post. And furthermore, controlling insulin is STILL crucial to weight loss. Low carbohydrate diets or those otherwise controlling their breakdown are the most effective at mitigating insulin release quickly, but as all food is insulinogenic to some degree, controlling calories, eating windows, etc is also helpful. And compared to how your average obese person is eating pre-diet, all of them (even plans like Jenny Craig and Ornish) are comparably lower insulin stimulating. This isn't some random coincidence.

There is a whole spectrum of human physiology regarding tolerance to carbohydrate load - some folks can eat plenty of them and their bodies compensate with extra NEAT, the energy is just plain wasted or excreted, or their leptin down-regulates their hunger signalling for longer, thus controlling the energy balance. On the other end of the scale are folks who are much more prone to an inappropriate endocrine response to energy, where the signalling isn't down regulating their appetites or worse, their bodies continue to release more insulin but their cells are resistant to the signalling (the beginnings of metabolic syndrome). Thus they are having ever more fuel transported into their adipocytes, but the signals of hunger/lethargy are still coming. That's also on the spectrum of normal and folks like that need a better strategy to control their sympton of excess body weight than just eat less, move more.

As I said in my FIRST post, all diets work in varying degrees. That variety comes from individual chemistry and preferences. Adherence is key, and some plans are better suited to my individual metabolism and needs than others, as I'm sure is the case for you. I really have no idea where the confusion in my posts was, I thought I was pretty clear? But it WAS late and now it IS early. I have bible study to run to.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:05 PM   #29
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I almost hesitate to chime in on this discussion as I am no expert on anything but me, and my dieting.

I lost weight with a nice, healthy exchange program.

However I find that as I age, I need to limit my carbs drastically to keep the weight off. No sugar, no wheat, no processed foods - that's what works for me now. I eat some meat, lots of veggies, and very little fruits. I am diabetic.

There is so much about all this that we just don't know, and we have to keep experimenting to find what works.

So we gotta keep trying -
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #30
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Oddly enough, I've gradually altered my calorie-counting diet to a quasi-Atkins diet. Since I don't get many calories while losing and I'm also lifting weights, I need the protein to repair the muscles, so rather than expend calories on broccoli, fruit, or sweets, I find myself eating mainly protein. I *do* splurge sometimes and will eat high-carb protein bars, popcorn, or a piece of cake, but it's not often. And I don't have to worry about all the carbs I just ate, since I'm not shooting for ketosis anyway. Like many others here, I've modified existing diets to what works for me.
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