Alright, every once in a while someone will ask me, “Is there a study proving low carb diets are safe for your kidneys? I’ve heard that they make your kidneys explode…”
Usually, my response is, “That’s why you have two of them.” After that, we usually enter into a discussion about what research can and cannot do, etc… and ultimately, discuss the fact that there’s no research that proves a low carb diet won’t make your kidneys explode after 10 years. There’s also no research that proves it won’t give you brain warts, spider legs, or a unibrow.
Have you heard someone tell you that, “A slice of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than a Snickers bar?” Or possibly one of the variants for whole grain bread? …or maybe you’ve heard “two slices of wheat bread”? I’ve been trying to dig up the research everyone keeps talking about, and the best that I could come up with is this article from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In it, the authors provide a table measuring the Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index for a variety of foods. The full details behind the table are in the article, but I’ve made a composite image from the pertinent sections of the table below. Have a look:
In this episode of The Skinny on Obesity, the role of stress on obesity is examined.
High stress shifts our behavior, our appetite, stimulates overeating, and is related to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and general obesity.
As with the other episodes, this one is well-worth watching.
It turns out the cholesterol narrative we’ve been telling ourselves is not quite as clear as we’d hoped. New research reveals that high levels of HDL cholesterol (what we’ve previously called “The Good Cholesterol”) imparts NO protection against heart disease. From the New York Times’ coverage of the news:
People who inherit genes that give them naturally higher HDL levels throughout life have no less heart disease than those who inherit genes that give them slightly lower levels. If HDL were protective, those with genes causing higher levels should have had less heart disease.
So it turns out that fructose-induced metabolic syndrome makes you stupid. …at least it does if you’re a rat, or presumably, are rat-brained.
In a new paper published in the May 2012 issue of The Journal of Physiology with the catchy title, “Metabolic syndrome’ in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signalling and cognition”, UCLA biologists Rahul Agrawal and Fernando Gomez-Pinilla posit that cognitive impairment resulting from metabolic syndrome can be corrected by supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids. This is the real news behind the headline, and the authors endeavor to describe it clearly:
In this segment of The Skinny on Obesity series, Dr. Robert Lustig examines the role of insulin and the adiposity of mothers in the rise of obese children (who go on to be obese adults).
One quick look at my progress and you’ll see that my weight loss is not linear (first 1/3 of the chart notwithstanding). In fact, if you look closely enough, you’ll see that I tend to gain weight, or “spike”, right before I drop again. This drop, or what Lyle McDonald calls a “whoosh“, has a distinct feeling that I’ll get to below. But first, a pretty graph and a few notes about how things work when I’m not losing.
Gary Taubes writes a cover treatment in the latest Newsweek and lambastes the conventional wisdom regarding the causes of the US obesity epidemic and the addled recommendations that are proposed to rectify it. In his cross hairs are the usual suspects: too many carbohydrates (in the form of sugar), a scientific establishment that is all but derelict in their duty, and a dogmatic (though unsupported) belief in the weight-loss benefits of exercise in combating obesity.