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Thread: I can't remember who I was arguing about this with ....but

  1. #1
    Fu-Pow Guest

    I can't remember who I was arguing about this with ....but

    Health advantages and disadvantages of weight-reducing diets: a computer analysis and critical review.

    Anderson JW, Konz EC, Jenkins DJ.

    Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40511, USA.

    BACKGROUND: Some weight-loss diets are nutritionally sound and consistent with recommendations for healthy eating while others are "fad" diets encouraging irrational and, sometimes, unsafe practices. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to compare several weight loss diets and assess their potential long-term effects. DESIGN: Eight popular weight-loss diets were selected (Atkins, Protein Power, Sugar Busters, Zone, ADA Exchange, High-Fiber Fitness, Pritikin and Omish) to be non-clinically analyzed by means of a computer to predict their relative benefits/potential harm. A summary description, menu plan and recommended snacks were developed for each diet. The nutrient composition of each diet was determined using computer software, and a Food Pyramid Score was calculated to compare diets. The Mensink, Hegsted and other formulae were applied to estimate coronary heart disease risk factors. RESULTS: Higher fat diets are higher in saturated fats and cholesterol than current dietary guidelines and their long-term use would increase serum cholesterol levels and risk for CHD. Diets restricted in sugar intake would lower serum cholesterol levels and long-term risk for CHD; however, higher carbohydrate, higher fiber, lower fat diets would have the greatest effect in decreasing serum cholesterol concentrations and risk of CHD. CONCLUSIONS: While high fat diets may promote short-term weight loss, the potential hazards for worsening risk for progression of atherosclerosis override the short-term benefits. Individuals derive the greatest health benefits from diets low in saturated fat and high in carbohydrate and fiber: these increase sensitivity to insulin and lower risk for CHD.


    "If you are talking about sport that is one thing. But when you are talking about combat-as it is-well then, baby, you'd better train every part of your body" - Bruce Lee

  2. #2
    Mr. Nemo Guest
    You were arguing about it with me and I think maybe Ford Prefect too, maybe someone else.

    If I understand the study correctly, it says that "high-fat" diets may increase the risk of heart disease. By "high fat" I assume they're referring to high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, in which the dieter usually gets a higher percentage of his calories from fat that he or she would from a conventional diet.

    My first problem is that the study, if I understand it, uses computer models to predict how the body will react to these different diets. Well, these models will probably be built off of traditional nutritional thought, that is, high-carbohydrate thought, which has been around ever since the FDA and is very entrenched. So, the criteria used to determine the type of effect these diets have on the body is probably already weighed against low-carbohydrate diets.

    Secondly, the study assumes that the higher fat diets will be higher in saturated fats and cholesterol, while in fact every low-carb diet I've ever seen warns the dieter away from these fats, encouraging them to have as much of their fat as possible be mono or polyunsaturated fat.

    Also, almost everyone assumes that the weight loss associated with low-carb diets is "short-term." But all the time I've been on low-carb diets, I've lost weight consistently, even after coming back to the diet after several months on a traditional diets (in which I did not gain back any weight).

  3. #3
    Ford Prefect Guest
    Yup, I was in on that one. I think there are far too many factors involved for a computer program to accurately predict conclusions like that. If it were that simple, we wouldn't have argued in the first place. ;) Keep it coming though. I love hearing about new studies. I'd also like to hear how they made their program reflect how a human body would react to different diets.

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