Monday, February 27, 2012

100 Diet Myths In One Easy Article

A friend sent this article to me, probably to see how high my BP would go.  It worked, thanks Cru.  This article, in the vernacular of the trade, "is rich in easily digestible" bovine excrement.  But, for that reason, it makes an easy jumping off point for diatribes on how to read popular writing which is over-laden with bad advice and poor science.

“Believe it or not, it may be the most important meal of the day as far as metabolism (and weight loss) is concerned. Breakfast eaters lose more weight than breakfast skippers do, according to studies.”
**This would be the point to ask “what kind of studies?”  Because there are many confounders of any number of kinds, and my first question would be whether they looked at folks that are fat adapted, and adapted to intermittent fasting?  Because if not, all that “the studies” showed is that people who are metabolically impaired (dependent on glucose intake in order to sustain adequate levels of blood glucose), their metabolism works poorly.  “Thanks for the news flash genius.”  My study said I lost ten pounds in six months when I stopped eating breakfast. 

That said, folks that are not fat adapted, and folks that don’t respond well to fasting, should certainly eat a good high protein, high fat breakfast, devoid of anything that was ever in the same room as anything like whole grain.

More from this journalistic gem:
 “Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again,” explains Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Penn State University and an author of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. So if you bypass breakfast, your body won’t burn as many calories until lunchtime as it could. That’s why it’s smart to start the day with a solid 300- to 400-calorie meal; it jump-starts your metabolism.
**A bit of math follows:  the BMR of Joe or Jane Average is something like 1400kcal/day.  IOW, your body requires something like 50-70kcal/hour just to keep you above ground, even if you just like in bed watching sports all day (no cheering).  So these folks are suggesting that the deficit of going without food for something like four hours will depress your BMR such that the 400kcal breakfast is essentially a wash.  “Really?”  Never mind the fact that the whole “eat to rev up your metabolism” concept is anything but proven, I don’t think even the folks that believe in it would suggest that the variation in BMR would be that extreme.  It’s a nice idea.  It’s not reality.

Additional high brow analysis from the author:
When researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia compared the effects of high-fat and high-fiber-carbohydrate breakfasts, they discovered that people who ate the fatty meal got hungry sooner afterward. "High-fiber carbohydrates take longer for your body to digest and absorb than fats; thus they don't cause rapid changes in your blood sugar, so your hunger is kept at bay longer," says study coauthor Susanna Holt, Ph.D. Some good choices: a bran-rich breakfast cereal with low-fat milk; whole-grain toast topped with low-fat ricotta and sliced banana or berries; an egg-white veggie omelette with whole-grain toast.
First off, if you can lose or maintain a weight loss on a diet like this, you are my hero and I highly recommend that you stay with it.  For those who like me are way to human to be healthy on a plate full of crap like that listed above, read on. 

If you test a bunch of metabolically broken people who are dependent on ingestion of glucose to sustain their glucose levels, and feed them fat, hell yes they’ll be hungry.  The point is that they keep eating low carb anyway so as to become fat adapated.  So the study cited above is only useful to know if you intend to remain an “orally ingested glucose addict” for the remainder of your life.  Good luck with that plan, you’ll need it.  If instead you would like a healthy metabolism, suffer through a few weeks of hunger and force your body to adapt to fat burning.  While you are at it, I suggest you avoid bran rich anything, low fat milk, whole grain toast or whole grain laced with rat poison, or low fat ricotta, as if it were an leprosy infested armadillo.  But that’s totally your call, perhaps you are a big fan of leprosy infested armadillos.  As for the conjecture that high fiber foods take longer to digest, they do; that’s why they make you gassy (that’s an appeal, by the way, that escapes me).  But they dump their sugar content quite rapidly, as a review of any glycemic index or glycemic load table will reveal.  Even more convincing in this regard is the one hour blood glucose check.

Part 2 tomorrow.

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