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Meta-Analysis Reveals Low Carb Diets Work, Improve Health

OK, so if you have been paying attention at all over the last decade, you’ll know that this IS NOT news.  It’s something we’ve known for years.  But still, if we’re going to change the understanding of our doctors, nutritionists and dietitians (not to mention the public), any coverage is good coverage.

So it is with a slight smile that I welcome the latest article from the journal, Obesity Reviews.  It’s a meta-analysis reviewing 17 clinical research experiments on low carb diets and it concludes that low carb diets are effective for weight loss and improve most biomarkers for health:
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A Better Cholesterol Test: Ask For It By Name Wherever Wellness Is Served

At work, we have our annual “wellness” exams coming up, and part of that is a blood draw so they can do a standard lipid panel. The results of this “exam” determines whether or not we qualify for a reduced rate on our health insurance.

Since this exam is coming up, I asked the company that administers the exam if I could upgrade my cholesterol test to an NMR test, as it can measure actual particle size and give more meaningful (less misleading) cholesterol information.
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Ketosis: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

Perhaps nothing is more damaging to the new low-carber than the intentional spread of fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding the state of ketosis compared to the dangerous state of ketoacidosis. The former is a natural and healthy state of existence, the latter is a condition that threatens the life of type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics whose disease has progressed to the point where their pancreatic beta cells can no longer produce insulin (ketoacidosis is also a risk for alcoholics). So if you’re not an alcoholic, a type 1 diabetic or a late-stage type 2 diabetic, fear of ketosis is misdirected.  You should regard with suspicion anyone who confuses the two and warns you against a low-carb diet because they cannot tell the difference.
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Three Products That Help Replenish Electrolytes On A Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet

Emergen-C Electro Mix ElectrolytesBy switching to a ketogenic low-carb diet, you are essentially transitioning yourself from a water-retaining diet, to a water-flushing diet. There are a variety of reasons for this, including reduction of inflammation (water tends to be bound up in inflammation) and the depletion of glycogen stores (glycogen retains water) in your liver and muscles.

Because you are not eating a diet that causes you to retain water, you’re going to find yourself urinating quite frequently (maybe even once per hour or more when you start!). As a consequence of this, you’re going to lose electrolytes. You’ll want to replenish them.
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60 Minutes Rebroadcasts the “Is Sugar Toxic” Segment Tonight

A new CBS 60 Minutes Segment with Sanjay Gupta again looks at the role of sugar in many illnesses from from cancer to diabetes to obesity.

New recommendations for _maximum_ sugar consumption is 150 calories sugar a day for men, and 100 calories sugar a day for women. That works out to about 37 grams of sugar a day for men, and 25 grams of sugar a day for women. For reference, Again, that’s the _maximum_ recommended intake by Dr. Robert Lustig. For Reference, a single 12-oz can of Coke Classic contains 39 grams of sugar, more than the recommended DAILY intake of sugar for either gender. Dr. Sanjay Gupta makes special note that, “Every researcher we talk to is completely eliminating sugar from their diet.”
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Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton Blogs About Prejudice Against The Obese

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton (Associate Professor, Psychology) published an interesting blog post today on the subject of prejudicial attitudes towards the obese. In it, he asserts:

[…]Prejudice against fat people continues to be one of the deepest and most widely shared prejudices that the public holds. Research has shown, for example, that even the parents of overweight children discriminate against them. In addition, the overweight suffer drops in self-esteem when prejudice is directed towards them, suggesting that overweight people themselves believe that somehow they are to blame for their condition (Crocker et al., 1993).
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Dieting vs. Exercise for Weight Loss: Recent Research Survey

Gretchen Reynolds has a nice piece today on the diet vs. exercise schism that many of us come to terms with on our weight loss journeys. Citing two new pieces of research (one of which has already been covered here), she notes how research continues to suggest that exercise is a minor contributor to weight loss (compared to diet) and that the oft cited adage that that is frequently invoked to promote weight loss (“Exercise speeds up your metabolism which increases weight loss”) isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be when scrutinized:
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