I stumbled across this journal article the other day. At first I was intrigued and a bit excited; sometimes reviews have some tidbits of information or put together a new perspective from research papers in a particular area. However for any low-carb veterans I would ultimately rule this paper as uninspiring, at best. And, at worst, likely intended as a targeted book advertisement for Phinney and Volek’s book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. (Which, BTW, is one of the best low carb resources in print. Don’t get me wrong about that, I just hate it when authors end a paper peddling one of their products.)
So back to their paper: The review starts by rehashing the heart hypothesis and the lack of evidence that dietary saturated fats contribute to serum saturated fats, etc, etc. Then they re-introduce their two studies where they find that low carbohydrate diets significantly reduce the proportionate and absolute amounts of circulating saturated fat, on both a restricted caloric diet and on a maintenance one. They hypothesize that lower insulin levels may decrease activity of enzymes involved in de novo lipogenesis which produce saturated fatty acids. I am completely on board and with them at this point up until this illustration, at which point the science bubble pops rather abruptly.
Words escape me. There was no better graphic they could have used? Really? I guess we could always use this as the Explain Like I’m Five definition of why the heart hypothesis is wrong, and only if we’re really desperate and our five year old doesn’t ask, “why?”
There is one final “in summary” paragraph to finish off this already heavily summarized paper, they tell people to focus on finding their “right” level of carbohydrate. What is “right”? I’ll tell what’s right… It’s in the book by the authors that you’ll just have to buy, I guess. Awesome advertising Volek and Phinney, but this is fairly shoddy scientific writing and I am officially calling you out on it.