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Thursday 28 August 2014

Gary Taubes: Why Atkins-style high fat low carb diet wins for weight loss

Dr. Robert Atkins wrote his first weight loss book advocating high fat low carb diets in 1972. While dieters loved the message to enjoy their fill of formerly forbidden foods like butter, bacon and eggs, other physicians generally reacted with scorn and horror. Now, more than four decades later, a growing number of experts are admitting that Dr. Atkins was right, said low carb diet expert Gary Taubes in an Aug. 25 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Taubes created his own carbohydrate controversy when he dared to challenge the low-fat diet guidelines from organizations such as the American Heart Association with two books citing research showing that a high fat low carb diet was a more effective way to lose weight. Get details about his books and his views on them by clicking here: "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” and “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health."

He has become famous for taking clinical trials and boiling down the scientific jargon into consumer-friendly weight loss wisdom.

Recalling how it all began, Taubes describes how, in 2002, he discovered "five clinical trials that...this low-carbohydrate, high-fat, eat-as-much-as-you-want diet to low-fat, calorie-restricted diets that the American Heart Association wants us all to eat. In all five studies, the Atkins [-style] diet did much better -- better heart disease risk factors and better weight loss."

Although the research studies favoring Atkins-style low carb diets range from clinical trials on diabetes to meta-analyses of heart disease, Taubes says it boils down to one key message. "Refined grains and sugars are the cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and any diet that restricts them will be healthier," he summarizes.

Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter agrees, but he takes the diet advice one step further: Eliminate grains and sugar completely. He contends that by eating a high fat low carb diet without grains and sugar, you can significantly reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, reported ABC News affiliate WWSB on Aug. 25.

"Your key to weight loss is to eat more fat. Eat fat, get thin!" he promises. Dr. Perlmutter echoes the Paleo diet message in recommending unprocessed foods as well. He is the author of “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.”

"For more than 99 percent of our time on this planet, we were on a high fat low carb, virtually gluten-free diet," he points out. Hence, he agrees with the Ancestral Health movement that returning to the diet of our prehistoric ancestors provides the key to weight loss and health.

Feeling hungry and coping with cravings rank as two of the most common complaints from dieters. But Linda O’Byrne, Atkins nutritionist, says that the high fat low carb diet eliminates those problems. It's based on theprinciples of nutritional ketosis.

By following a ketogenic diet, your body shifts to fat-burning mode. Although it might take a few days to adapt, the diet is safe to follow and highly effective for weight loss because it maintains muscle mass while burning fat, said Linda.

"Following Atkins eliminates hunger for two reasons," she said in an exclusive interview. "Reducing carb intake stabilizes blood sugar. Carbohydrates cause insulin spikes and then ultimately crashes, and this is what leads to cravings and hunger. Therefore, without carbs, dieters don't experience extreme changes in blood insulin levels and the cravings go away."

In addition, foods high in fat help dieters feel full for longer periods of time. Snacking is allowed, and Linda recommends consuming small protein-rich snacks between meals, such as turkey and cheese rolls.



FredT said...

"Although it might take a few days to adapt"

Understated. You may never adapt. Some or you (me) may experience cravings something terrible if you get too low in carbs. I need about 25to 40 grams of potatoes to avoid those cravings. I still experience other cravings from unknown sources.

If anyone says that the cravings will go away, they may except in a few % of us.

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying Fred is that this statement is false?

"Feeling hungry and coping with cravings rank as two of the most common complaints from dieters. But Linda O’Byrne, Atkins nutritionist, says that the high fat low carb diet eliminates those problems."

Lowcarb team member said...


Could this be about incentive at the end of a day. A healthy overweight person may be looking to shift some weight. An overweight diabetic is hoping to save their eye sight and limbs.

Maybe this is about a fear factor.


Thom Berry said...

I suppose that the late (and greatly missed) Barry Groves was one of the pioneers of the low carb movement: he started in the 1960's. But; whilst low carb is likely the only way to live if you are a Type 2 Diabetic; certain elements within our diet that were not strictly low or no carb did give extraordinary health benefits to ancient society's. These included porridge, rye bread, fermented vegetables and a number of other food stuffs that have vanished from our modern diets in the form we used for some thousand years or more. The single truth about these, was that they were used in their completely unadulterated form by peoples that did not usually posess the APOE4 allele which the 'hunter gatherers' did.

This 'conservation' genetic trait, is that which helped keep them alive in times of famine and will pile on the weight even when they are eating virtually nothing in modern civilisations. Of course, with modern foodstuffs, especially the highly processed carbs, like white flour, polished rice and other processed grains and of course sugar. we have all of the glucose forming components with none of the macronutrients found in their original forms, which for some peoples provided the basic foodstuffs that allowed them to flourish and procreate. But; all of these 'tribes' also consumed considerable dairy or animal fats as well; even blood, and there is little to no evidence that any society flourished without a source of fat soluble Vitamins. It must also be remembered that where animals were consumed, they were eaten 'nose to tail' with often the cuts we use today; the muscle meats, being discarded or fed to the dogs and 'game' was often quite low in fat, except in the organs we today shun.

We need to take account of Ancient Traditions in our quest for better health and all Diabetics should probably live like our Ancestors so far as diet is concerned but seek and use those elements of our diet that can still be obtained, such as liver, kidneys even hearts. Eat plenty of butter, eggs and cheese, especially some of the very yellow grades high in K2 precursors: we need K2 to enable D3 to undertake it's role in systems of strengthening bones and teeth and keeping calcium in our skeleton and not our arteries.

Sources of the nutrients we all need are becoming scarce in the supermarkets, so we do need to be inventive and be careful we are not consuming meat and fats raised with soy and corn meal instead of grass and fodder. The process of converting grass to carbohydrate is the ruminants role in our food chain and that is being progressively adulterated by 'Big Foods' animal feeding protocols. So, beware of the high Omega 6 content of some meats that look perfectly fine but conceal their contribution to inflamation in our systems.

Thom Berry.