The reason the keto diet is effective for weight loss and some disease control is that it fundamentally shifts the way our bodies run. On a traditional diet, our bodies automatically reach for carbohydrates to burn first, before using fats, because carbs are quicker and easier to break down, according to scientist on previous post. For more information continue reading! Here Julia Belluz, Vox.com, reflects on a new study in the low-carb diet arena:
“It’s probably the most contentious question in the dieting wars: How much do carbs really matter when it comes to weight loss?
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On one side are a cadre of respected researchers; the journalist Gary Taubes; and Atkins, Zone, and keto diet devotees who passionately argue that if we could just pry ourselves away from the pasta, bagels, and cookies, our weight struggles would be over.
On the other side are equally reputable researchers and nutritionists who haven’t bought into the low-carb claims. They instead argue that most studies show low-carb diets aren’t better than any other diet when it comes to keeping weight off.
It’s a rich and lively debate. And on Thursday morning, Dr. Oz jumped into the fray, appearing on the Today show to highlight a new study showing that cutting carbs can help people “lose weight, not feel discomfort while doing it, and sustain it,” he said.
The study, led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, appears in the journal BMJ and is arguably one of the most rigorous diet studies ever done. While it didn’t show exactly what Dr. Oz suggested, it is an important bit of evidence in this debate — and yet another reminder of the incredible difficulty of proving anything when it comes to nutrition.
The carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis
For the study, which cost $12 million to complete, researchers wanted to look at whether maintaining weight loss over 20 weeks would be easier on a low-carb, moderate-carb, or high-carb diet. But the question they were really testing is whether the kind of calories we eat, not just how many calories, matters when it comes to our body weight.
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Some diet and nutrition researchers argue it’s the amount that matters, and if we focus on cutting overall calories, we’ll drop the pounds. Others believe calorie quality matters hugely.
The main scientific model in that latter camp is the ”carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis,” which Taubes, Harvard professor David Ludwig (an author on the new paper), University of California San Francisco’s Robert Lustig, and others have extensively promoted. It suggests that a diet heavy in carbohydrates (especially refined grains and sugars) leads to weight gain because of a specific mechanism: Carbs drive up insulin in the body, causing the body to hold on to fat and suppress calorie burn.
According to this hypothesis, to lose weight and keep it off, you need to reduce the number of carb calories you eat and replace them with fat calories. This is supposed to drive down insulin levels, ratchet up calorie burn, and help fat melt away.
The new paper is the best test of that hypothesis in “free-living” participants — people who aren’t confined to a hospital ward or metabolic chamber for the purposes of a study.
The new low-carb study, explained
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The researchers, from Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and other universities, recruited 234 people and first had them try to lose about 12 percent of their body weight over nine to 10 weeks.
They did this because we know that most people can lose weight on any kind of diet — but the hard part is keeping that weight off. And the researchers wanted to tease out whether a low-carb diet that might help people with that difficult second step by, as the carbohydrate-insulin model suggests, by having them burn extra calories.
Of the 234 people who started the study, 164 achieved the target weight loss — meaning they were ready to enter the next and most important step in the trial.
The remaining 164 study participants were then randomly assigned to high-carb (60 percent), moderate-carb (40 percent), and low-carb (20 percent) diets and followed for 20 weeks, during which time they were fed every snack and meal. Their diets were also carefully calibrated to make sure they were maintaining their new body weight.
At the 20-week point, the effects were quite remarkable: The fewer carbs a person ate, the more calories they burned — and, the logic goes, the easier it’d be to keep their weight off. So people on the low-carb diet burned more than 200 extra calories each day, while people on the moderate-carb diet burned about an extra 100 calories per day, and people on the high-carb diet didn’t burn any extra calories.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/11/16/18096633/keto-low-carb-diet
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