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Posts from the ‘Overweight’ Category

8
Jan

The food guide pyramid – A myth

I, me and my fat- part 9

Before 1960, physicians believed carbohydrates cause obesity and abstinence from starches, flour and sugars, is the obvious method of cure and prevention. After 1960, when the physicians stopped believing it, the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes started. Health officials believed that dietary fat causes heart disease (especially saturated fat) and eating carbohydrates are heart healthy and will prevent heart disease. The myth of the FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID was born!. At the bottom of the pyramid would be the staple of your “healthy” diet ; the “fat-free” carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, pasta group – 6-11 servings) and at the top of the pyramid, to be used sparingly, would be the fats and oils, with meat (2-3 servings) near the top as well. The food pyramid didn’t take the science of fat metabolism into consideration: carbohydrate is driving insulin is driving fat !. Carbohydrates were thought to be “heart-healthy” and couldn’t be reconciled with the idea that carbohydrates make us fat!.  

 

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3
Dec

Carbohydrates, moderation or nothing?

I, me and my fat, Part 8

 There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for the quantity of carbohydrates in our diet.

There are genetic variations in fatness and leanness, that are independent of diet. Also, multiple hormones and enzymes affect our fat accumulation (e.g. menopausal men and women lose the restraining effect of testosterone and estrogen as they age.) 

Insulin is the one hormone that we can consciously control through our diet. For some, staying lean or getting lean, might mean avoiding sugars and eating fattening carbohydrates in moderation. For others, losing weight might only be possible with virtually zero carbohydrates. But, then for some obese patients, the longer they had been obese, the more likely they were to remain obese. They have reached a point of no return, where they could not reverse all the damage done by a lifetime of eating carbohydrate-rich foods. 

The conventional logic of diets is a “quick fix” in weight loss. The dieters don’t try to reregulate their fat tissue, but only reduce the calories they consume, expecting their fat cells to willingly give up it’s fat. If there are no immediate results, they decide the diet has failed and they move on to the next one or give up totally. The fact is, unfortunately, that we are counteracting a regulatory disorder of fat metabolism, that took years to develop and will take a few months, to years, to reverse!.

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14
Oct

Updated LDL Cholesterol information

I, me and my fat, Part 7

In 1970, LDL, was called the bad cholesterol, because it was thought the cholesterol caused the buildup of plaque in our arteries. Now in 2010,  they say it is not the cholesterol carried by the LDL that is to blame for heart disease, but the particle (Low-Density Lipoprotein or LDL) itself. Also, not all LDL particles appear to be equally harmful. The large and buoyant LDL particles are harmless, but it is the small, dense ones, that form plaques in the wall of our arteries.

Carbohydrate-rich diets, not only lower HDL and raise triglycerides, but they also make LDL small and dense!. These 3 effects increase our risk of heart disease. When we eat high-fat diets and avoid carbohydrates the opposite happens: HDL goes up, triglycerides go down and the LDL becomes larger and buoyant.

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8
Oct

The arguments against a carbohydrate restricted diet

I, me and my fat, Part 6

  1. It violates the law of calories-in/calories-out (promise weight loss without having to eat less or exercise)
  2. It is an unbalanced diet, because it restricts the nutrient category – carbohydrates. 
  3. High- saturated fat diets cause heart disease (raises our cholesterol) 

DISMANTLING THESE ARGUMENTS:

Restricting carbohydrates, leads to weight loss and fat loss, independent of the calories we consume from dietary fat and protein (discussed in detail above). The law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with it!

The argument that a diet restricting fattening carbohydrates, will be lacking in essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids), is nonsense!. The foods you are avoiding are the fattening and nutrient-deficient starches, refined carbohydrates and sugars, NOT the nutrient–dense leafy green vegetables, salads, meat and eggs. Meat contains all the essential amino acids, essential fats and 12 of the 13 essential vitamins (vitamin C is scarce in animal products). Meat is a concentrated source of vitamin A and E, the entire vitamin B complex and vitamin B12 and D are only in animal products (Vitamin D also from sun exposure).  We use B vitamins to metabolize glucose in our cells – so, the more carbohydrates we consume, the more glucose we burn and the more B vitamins we need from our diets. Insulin inhibits the uptake of vitamin C by the kidneys – so, when we eat carbohydrates we excrete vitamin C with our urine, instead of retaining it!. The isolated hunter-gatherer populations thrived during long winters on no carbohydrates and no green vegetables or fruit, but got enough vitamin C from animal products. 
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1
Oct

Should we eat meat or plants

I, me and my fat, Part 8 and my fat, Part 5

We should eat what we evolved to eat!

The  longer a particular type of food has been part of the human diet, the better adapted we have become to that food and the more beneficial that food is. If some food is new to human diets or new in larger quantities, we haven’t had time to adapt to it and it would do us harm. Influential articles by Geoffrey Rose in the 1980’s stated that the only means to prevent chronic disease, is to “restore the conditions to which we are presumably genetically adapted”. Which are those conditions?. Our genes were shaped by 99.5% of human history – the Paleolithic era (Stone Age), which constitutes more than 100 000 generations of humanity, living as hunter-gatherers. Our genes were not shaped by the 0.5% of humanity, the Agricultural period – which constitutes 600 generations living as farmers and 10 generations who lived in the Industrial age. 
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28
Sep

Why do some of us get fat and others don’t

I, me and my fat, Part 8 and my fat, Part 3

IMPORTANT FACTORS in why some of us get fat and others don’t:

If insulin makes us fat, why does it make only some of us fat?. 

  • Genetic predisposition to being fat: insulin partitions a disproportionate amount of the calories  into storage as fat, rather than use for energy by the muscles; as you get fatter , you have less energy for physical activity and become more sedentary. Genetic predisposition to being lean: a disproportionate amount of the calories are burned as fuel, with little stored, you have plenty of energy for physical activity and you’ll eat in moderation e.g. the skinny marathoners.
  • Insulin resistance or your cells degree of sensitivity to insulin, plays an important role in why you get fat. If cells become resistant to insulin, more insulin is required to keep blood sugar levels under control. Now your pancreas secrete more insulin, which causes more insulin resistance…a vicious cycle!. In the meantime, the insulin works to make you fatter by storing calories as fat.   
  • Cell respond differently to insulin is also an important factor. Fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells don’t all become insulin resistant at the same time, to the same extent or in the same way e.g. if your muscle cells are insulin sensitive, (compared to the fat cells), then the muscle tissue will store more glucose as glycogen and burn more fuel, making you lean and physically active. If your muscle cells are insensitive to insulin (insulin resistant), compared with your fat cells, then your fat tissue will receive a disproportionate share of the glucose you consume, making you fat and sedentary. The cell response to insulin, also differs from person to person and also change with time, in the same person. As you get older, your muscle cells (not really the fat cells) become more insulin resistant. With age more calories are diverted into fat and when people reach their middle age, they find it very hard to remain lean. Due to these elevated insulin levels/insulin resistance (cause), metabolic disturbances follow (effect) : higher blood pressure, higher triglyceride levels, LDL goes up, HDL goes down etc.  

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24
Sep

The physiology of adiposity

I, me and my fat, Part 2

A person doesn’t get fat, because they overeat, they overeat because they are getting fat. 

 Both gluttony and sloth are effects of the drive to get fatter. They are caused by a defect in the regulation of the person’s fat tissue. Like the estrogen in rats, the estrogen in women, influences an enzyme, called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). If LPL is attached to a fat cell, it will pull fat from the bloodstream into the fat cell. That person will get fatter. If the LPL is attached to a muscle cell, it pulls the fat into the muscle cell and the muscle cell burns it for fuel. 

 When estrogen levels are high, LPL activity is inhibited and less fat are accumulated in the fat cells; when estrogen levels are low, the LPL activity is upregulated and more fat is pulled from the circulation into the fat cell. By removing the ovaries, there is no estrogen and the woman gets more fat than normal, because her fat cells have more LPL doing the job. The woman now has a voracious appetite, because she is losing calories into her fat cells that are needed elsewhere to run her body. The more calories she is losing to the fat cells, the more she eats to compensate. Now a meal that would previously have satisfied her, no longer does. And because she is getting fatter and heavier, her caloric requirement increases even further. If she can’t satisfy her newfound hunger, she expends less energy….A vicious circle of fat accumulation!!.  

Estrogen inhibit the activity of LPL on fat cells.

 People get fat because of the way their fat is regulated and consequently causes gluttony ( the over- eating behavior) and physical inactivity (sloth).

 Gluttony and sloth are the EFFECT and NOT the REASON of getting fat!!.  

 

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22
Sep

Fat Accumulation

I, me and my fat, Part 1

Introduction

We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic!. Just over 50 years ago one in every nine Americans were obese; today it is one in every three; two in every three are now overweight!. Adolescents and children are fatter, even babies are born fatter!. Obesity and especially type 2 diabetes, are closely linked. Many obese people become diabetic. In fact, obesity and overweight are associated with every chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and asthma. 

The fault lies with the medical authorities in the mid-1990’s, who believe that excess fat is caused by consuming excess calories, the so called calories-in/calories-out theory of adiposity. They blamed it on overeating and/or sedentary behavior. We are either gluttons or slothful!.If this was true, then why can’t we solve the problem of overweight and obesity by eating less and moving more?. Instead of blaming it on weakness of character, we should be looking at human biology. In his book, “Why we get fat”, Gary Taubes stated that obesity is not a disorder of energy balance (eating too much), but much more a disorder of EXCESS FAT ACCUMULATION. 

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