Locally, UC Davis publishes a nutrition newsletter online, “Foodlines for Professionals.” Check out the July/August 2010 copy, a PDF file. The publication has a lot of good food information. Concerning a recent study published today and online dated August 3, 2010, the new federally-funded study by the National Institutes of Health, at another university, Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education showed that during the long term, a low-carb diet works as well as a low-fat diet at taking off the pounds. Also read the August 4 news release, “Atkins Diet Used in a Study That Found Low-Carb Diets Improved Heart Health as Reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.”
Additionally and favorably, the low-carb diet in the long term raised the HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol you want raised. The study lasted about two years. How do you know whether you have the genes for a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet? There’s several ways to tell based on your body’s response to low-carb diets, low-fat diets, or a variety of balanced diets, such as the modified Mediterranean, the modified lower-salt Pan-Asian diet, or the “Zone Diet.”
You can look at your genes, or for free, your body’s response to the foods, your body’s shape, and how your body and blood tests react to low-carb, low-fat, or balanced diets. A low carb diet typically is about 30% protein, 30% carbs, and 40% fat. A low-fat diet increases the carbs to 50%, suggests 30% protein, and lowers the fat to 20%. A balanced diet is balanced pretty much equally between fats, carbs, and proteins.
Based on your metabolic and genetic response, body shape and response, including how your cholesterol total reacts to changes in percentages of fats, proteins, and carbs, you can individualize, customize, and tailor your diet to what’s best for your health. The best way to tell is to get tested when you’re on the diet that is tailored for your individual body’s needs.
Research suggests a low-carb diet might be better for your heart, according to an August 2, 2010 Associated Press article published in today’s Sacramento Bee by Stephanie Nano, “Low-carb diet trumps low-fat on ‘good’ cholesterol.” You can read the study’s abstract yourself, “Comparison of Weight Loss at 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet,” published August 3, 2010 in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Both diets improved cholesterol in a two-year study that included intensive group counseling. The larger HDL boost (in the good cholesterol) came to those on the low-carbohydrate diet. In fact, the boost was nearly twice as much for those on the low-carb diet as it was for those on the low-fat diet.
If you look at other studies, some research showed that those on low-carb diets were better at weight loss for the short-run, about six months. But longer-term results were mixed. If you look at HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol that you want higher, according to past studies, the suggestion is that the folks had better cholesterol readings on low-carb eating.
Researchers looked at the weight two years later. The average weight loss was the same for both groups–around seven percent, which amounts to about 15 pounds of weight loss. What made the difference is the HDL. The low-carb eaters increased their HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol 23 percent. The low-fat eaters only raised their HDL 12 percent. For further information, check out Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Gary Foster, director of the Center led the federally-funded research study.
By eating a low-carb diet, the boost in HDL was smilar to the type of boost you’d possibly get from drugs that raise the HDL. Read the study online. It’s based on looking at only 307 adults, two-thirds of whom were female. The obese participants didn’t have high cholesterol or diabetes to start with when they began the study.
Interestingly, only half followed the low-carb diet that was similar in a lot of ways to the Atkins plan. The other half went on a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Group counseling sessions addressed correcting faulty eating habits. That new study also measured bone density, weight, blood, and body composition. The participants stuck to their diets. But after two years, the only differences found were the good cholesterol in the low-carb eaters.
In the 1970s and 1980s, low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet became the rage or fad diet of those years. It allowed so much fat that researchers thought it would increase heart disease. Later, other studies showed that processed meats, for example luncheon meats such as hot dogs, ham, and other ‘processed’ animal proteins contributed more to heart disease than red meat not processed, for example, like a steak or chop.
Researchers still haven’t figured out why in the low-carb group, there was an early rise in “bad” LDL cholesterol, for example, of the kind that builds up plaque in arteries. But after two years, both groups ended up with similar improvements to bad cholesterol. The study took place in a variety of locations in the US.
Your genes may hold a clue as to whether you’d do better on a low carb or mostly carb diet. The clue is whether you’re apple-shaped or pear-shaped. If you put on weight in your abdomen but never gain weight in your thighs and hips, you’re apple-shaped and usually would do better on a low-carb diet, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease among relatives.
If you’ve inherited their tendency to gain weight in your middle, but not on your thighs, hips, or arms, your genes may have predisposed you to benefiting by eating a low-carb diet for better health. On the other hand, if you’re pear shaped and have a small waist, flatter stomach, and gain weight on your hips and thighs but not on your stomach (protruding in front). In other words, you get fat from the sides and not from the stomach forward with thin legs and arms, you might have the genes that predispose you to doing better on high carb, mostly vegetarian foods.
A genetic test would tell you, but so would a questionnaire on your body shape, which can tell you what your genes probably would also say, what kind of diet you do best on. Check out the article, “Dr. Oz’s Diet Breakthrough,” in the August 9th, 2010 Woman’s World.
According to that article, our DNA determines which diet is best for us, and you may need a low carb diet because your genes play a major role in how you digest and metabolize food. The article contains a questionnaire that reveals the body shapes, types, and therefore the underlying genes that give you specific body shapes. With the checklist, you can tailor your foods to your body shape. Underlying the body shape also is the cell structure, genes, DNA, and metabolism that points to whether you might do better with a low or high carb diet.
For example, if an apple-shaped person eats totally vegetarian and focuses on an all-carb diet, the result might be very different from what happens to a pear-shaped person on the same diet because the genes are different. The apple-shaped person might look thin with thin hips and thighs, usually a large space between the thighs, thin arms, and most of the weight being placed in the center of the body on a protruding abdomen.
The pear-shaped person would have a flatter belly, but would gain weight on thighs and hips. It’s also possible to be a mixed type. The article suggests for that mixed type a diet more like the Zone-diet which has been popularized in books by biochemist, Barry Sears. It advocates consuming calories from carbohydrates, protein, and fat in a balanced ratio. You might check out Barry Sears’ book, Toxic Fat: When Good Fat Turns Bad.
Low-carb diet also raised HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol
The National Institutes of Health funded the latest study conducted by Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education published in the August 3, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Atkins™ Nutritionals, Inc. (“Atkins”) applauds the study, according to an August 4, 2010 press release, “Atkins Diet Used in a Study That Found Low-Carb Diets Improved Heart Health as Reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.” Atkins provided the book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet, New Revolution, to researchers to be used as a guide.
The study concludes that a low-carbohydrate diet is associated with favorable changes in weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The Temple University researchers used the 2002 version of the Atkins Diet™ described in “Dr. Atkins‘ New Diet Revolution” as the model for the low-carbohydrate diet used in the study.
“We are very excited about this study, which is the latest of many that demonstrate the positive effects of the Atkins Diet,” said Monty Sharma, CEO of Atkins Nutritionals, according to the August 4, 2010 news release. “I’m confident that the results would have been even more profound had the study participants followed the latest version of the Atkins Diet introduced in ‘The New Atkins for a New You.'”
Fireside published the new best-selling book, “The New Atkins for a New You” in March 2010 and authored by Dr. Eric C. Westman (Duke University), Dr. Stephen D. Phinney (University of California at Davis) and Dr. Jeff S. Volek (University of Connecticut). The book spent 18 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List (paperback/advice) after its debut.
The two-year, federally funded Temple University study focused on 307 adults, of whom two-thirds were women. Half of the participants followed the Induction phase of the Atkins Diet for three months before increasing their carbohydrate intake by five grams a week until they reached a stable weight. The other participants followed a low-fat diet, consisting of 1,200–1,800 daily calories of which less than 30 percent was fat.
Results showed that while both the low-fat and low-carb diets promote successful weight loss, the Atkins Diet increased the body’s levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 23 percent — nearly twice as much as a low-fat diet, which increased HDL levels by only 12 percent. Many other studies of up to one year’s duration have reported similar beneficial results, but this is the second two-year study.
The New Atkins for a New You provides a detailed road-map for moving through the four phases of the diet, enabling followers to find their individual tolerance for carbohydrates, a concept that was introduced in this book for the first time and was not available to Temple University at the time of the study.
“Had participants in the Temple University study known how to find their own carbohydrate threshold — instead of continuing to add carbohydrates until weight loss ceased — they would have almost certainly lost more weight and shown even higher HDL cholesterol levels,” said Dr. Eric C. Westman, a coauthor of The New Atkins for a New You.
The New Atkins for a New You details how science has transformed the Atkins Diet into an established, medically validated, safe and effective treatment. The book also promotes the consumption of a wide variety of whole foods, including multiple protein sources, as well as vegetables, low glycemic fruits and — as one approaches one’s goal weight — whole grains. The adequate levels of protein, fat and fiber in these foods keeps dieters satiated longer, but eliminates the simple sugars and quickly digested carbohydrates that spike blood sugar, and therefore hunger and cravings.
About Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., is a leading player in the $2.4 billion dollar weight control nutrition category, and offers a powerful lifetime approach to weight loss and weight management. The Atkins Nutritional Approach focuses on a healthy diet with reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars and encourages the consumption of protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Backed by research and consumer success stories, this approach allows the body to burn more fat and work more efficiently while helping individuals feel less hungry, more satisfied and more energetic.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., manufactures and sells a variety of nutrition bars, foods and shakes designed around the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet™. Atkins’ four product lines: Advantage®, Day Break™, Endulge™ and Cuisine™ appeal to a broad audience of both men and women who want to achieve their weight management goals and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Atkins products are available in more than 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit atkins.com.
Also check out the latest study in the August 3, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet. Also see the article based on the study, News From Annals Of Internal Medicine: August 3, 2010, “Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet.”