Given the recent thread on Paleo and low carb, I thought it would be relevant to post this latest study showing the superiority of low carb diets in treating metabolic syndrome:
This follows on the NEJM study, and a number of other studies showing more or less the same thing.
My personal point of view here, having used low carb strategies along with weight training and cardiovascular work, is that the low carbohydrate diet, and particularly the LC Paleo diet, is by far the best strategy for fixing the aftereffects of overweight and obesity secondary to insulin resistance caused by the high refined grain modern American diet.
If you are already lean, and you have been lean for some time, there are various Paleo templates that will fit the bill for you, with strong evidence of traditional societies in good health, ranging from high carb (California Natives, Kitava) to high fat (Inuit, northern Native Americans), to anything in between. All avoid refined, processed food, high carb diets make high nutrient tubers the center of the diet.
If you are carrying extra weight, particularly around the middle, you need to fix the underlying metabolic issues, and LC eating, and particularly LC Paleo eating, is by far the best way to do this. Depending on how far gone your metabolism is, you may need to stay on a relatively LC diet the remainder of your life, although you may be able to tolerate, over time, more and more paleo carbs, particularly depending on how much glycogen work you do.
You are unlikely to be able to go back to bread, cereal, and the like (I know for me, whenever I start, my body switches back into massive craving mode unless I carefully manage the process from a severely glycogen depleted state).
What I think creates much of the controversy here is people who used LC eating to fix their metabolism and get in control of eating and health, who then proclaim that LC is the only healthy lifestyle.
Low Carbers, Vegans, Born Agains, Atheists, Republicans, Democrats... the dichotomously arranged groups that simply shout over one another without bothering to listen to the other add NOTHING useful to the body politic.
The Low Carbers that point out the improved blood lipids on VLC diets are helpful. The Vegans that point out the dangers of Frankenfoods and encourage eating natural whole foods are helpful. The people who yammer on about how they have The One True Way are simply boring and annoying and turn people off. They tend to hang out and pretend to be all superior while whining to each other about how the world is messed up because not enough people will convert to their cause. Borrrrrrrrrring!
I find that about one in four of my clients tolerate carbs fairly well and don't have to concern themselves much with them. The other three better stay under 100 grams per day or they turn into fat slugs. So, is Low Carb the Best Way for Everyone? No. Is it a good idea for most people? Yes. As long as they eat real food and not a bunch of junky low carb Frankenfoods.
Whatever foods help you stay lean and vital are the best foods for you. Go for it! Just don't tell me it will TOTALLY work for me too. We are not omniscient about each others ideal diets and it's impolite to act like we are. ;)
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