Sunday, October 13, 2013

Half-hearted Atkins diet and cardiovascular disease

I would like to comment on a latest article evaluating the Atkins, Ornish and South Seaside diet programs (Miller et al., 2009 entire reference at the stop of this submitting), which has been creating quite a lot of commotion amongst bloggers recently. Especially minimal carb. bloggers.

An outstanding post by Michael Eades clarifies a amount of troubles with the study, which includes what a single could argue is the study's primary flaw. Apparently the review in contrast a 50 %-hearted Atkins diet regime, with probably similarly half-hearted Ornish and South Beach front diets.

I refer to the study's Atkins diet program as fifty percent-hearted due to the fact it would seem to count on a daily consumption of in between one hundred twenty and one hundred eighty grams of carbohydrates. This is unlikely to lead to ketosis, the cornerstone of the Atkins diet program, exactly where the body utilizes ketone bodies (created from nutritional as properly as human body fat) as a supply of strength.

As I see it, the main results of the examine were that the participants in the 50 %-hearted Atkins diet, soon after a interval of 4 weeks on the diet, and when in contrast with the members in the other diet programs, had: (a) higher amounts of complete cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, with only a modest enhancement in their HDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels and (b) greater stages of markers for irritation (e.g., C-reactive protein).

The members ended up youthful and healthful. Their average age was thirty.6 many years, and their common physique mass index was 22.6. On average, their overall cholesterol was 184.9 mg/dL, triglycerides have been seventy mg/dL, LDL cholesterol was 107.2 mg/dL, and HDL cholesterol was sixty two.two mg/dL. These are arguably fairly healthier quantities despite the fact that really a handful of medical professionals may want to place most of these folks preventively on statins since of their LDL currently being higher than one hundred.

What I discover fascinating about this research, and consistent with both my possess experience and also a idea that I have, is that it indicates that a lower carb. diet plan has to genuinely be minimal carb. in order to provide about the advantages that a single usually sees as a outcome of a diet regime that induces ketosis. A diet with, say, > one hundred fifty g of refined grains per day, is not really a lower carb. diet program.

Yet again, in my encounter, and that of several other people, a really lower carb. diet program (quite reduced in, if not devoid of, refined carbs and sugars), will lead to an impressive boost in HDL cholesterol (particularly for these who have minimal HDL to begin with), an equally impressive lessen in triglycerides, elevated insulin sensitivity, and potentially a reduce in LDL.

Even so, a 50 percent-hearted Atkins diet program might truly lead to elevated LDL (of the little-dense sort), and much more swelling, just like this study implies it does, with out the advantages regarding HDL and trigs. The reason is that the even now relatively substantial stage of carbohydrate consumption, specifically if it will come in the sort of refined carbs. and sugars, will guide to larger ranges of insulin currently being secreted into the bloodstream. This will promote increased physique excess fat deposition. The extra saturated excess fat currently being eaten will be turned into physique unwanted fat, and not used as vitality, starving the cells and foremost to elevated hunger.

A diet plan abundant in saturated fat may possibly in fact be poor when it is also a diet even moderately abundant in insulin-boosting, easily digestible carbs. This could be a single of the main causes why there have been so a lot of reports in the earlier demonstrating a correlation between saturated unwanted fat consumption and coronary heart condition studies that typically did not control for carbohydrate intake.

In a latest job interview on the Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Site, Dr. John Salerno goes into much more detail with regards to this issue, recommending a a lot a lot more rigid adoption of the Atkins diet plan than a lot of feel is all right. (In fact, I usually talk to folks who believe that if they reduce a extremely high carb. consumption in 50 % - e.g., from 400 to 200 grams per day - changing the carbs with unwanted fat, they will be midway into a full blown Atkins diet.) Dr. Salerno has labored in the past with Dr. Atkins. He phone calls his diet regime the Silver Cloud Diet. I am not confident I agree with all that Dr. Salerno experienced to say, but his argument in favor of a diet very minimal in carbs. does make sense to me.

Last but not least, I think that it is dangerous to extrapolate the outcomes of any review, no make a difference how complete, to the inhabitants in common. Every single specific is special in phrases of his or her genetic makeup and lifestyle heritage the latter also influences metabolic styles. (Even identical twins elevated with each other could display diverse metabolic styles, because of their various lifestyle histories.)  So, while a reduced carb. diet program may function effectively for a whole lot of folks, it may have really damaging results on a handful of. Increases in swelling markers and adverse outcomes on LDL cholesterol (particularly when LDL is calculated straight, accounting for particle figures and measurements) are warning indications that any minimal carb. dieter ought to spend attention to.


Miller, M. et al. (2009). Comparative outcomes of 3 well-liked diets on lipids, endothelial purpose, and c-reactive protein for the duration of weight servicing. Journal of the American Dietetic Affiliation, 109, 713-717.
Title: Half-hearted Atkins diet and cardiovascular disease
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