Re: Study Finds Low-Fat Diet Won't Stop Cancer or Heart Disease

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Harold Groot, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Harold Groot

    Harold Groot Guest

    On 7 Feb 2006 13:56:55 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/07/h...&en=9fdd8d6b9954745d&ei=5094&partner=homepage
    >
    >By GINA KOLATA
    >
    >Published: February 7, 2006
    >
    >The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet keeps women from
    >getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet had no effect.
    >
    >The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women aged 50 to
    >79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a
    >low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer heart
    >attack and stroke as those who ate whatever they pleased, researchers
    >are reporting today.

    <snip>

    >And, confounding many popular notions about fat in the diet, the
    >different diets did not make much difference in anyone's weight. The
    >common belief that carbohydrates in the diet lead to higher insulin
    >levels, higher blood glucose levels and more diabetes was also not
    >confirmed. There was no such effect among the women eating low-fat
    >diets.



    I've got a bit of a problem with this one. The general theory behind
    most lowcarb diets is that the SAD (Standard American Diet) is already
    well BEYOND the carbohydrate threshold where "higher insulin levels,
    blood glucose levels and more diabetes" takes place. Going onto a
    low-fat diet may mean a further increase in carbs as some of the fat
    in the diet is replaced with protein, but going from "well beyond the
    threshold" to "even further beyond the threshold" is not a test of the
    theory. Instead, you need to compare populations of "below the
    threshold" and "above the threshold".

    I don't know the exact numbers offhand, but let us assume that the SAD
    has 225g of carbs (900 calories) in a 2000 calorie. Their low-fat
    diet might contain 300g of carbs (1200 calories) in a 2000 calorie
    diet instead. If you look at the various lowcarb diets you will find
    varying numbers, but it would be reasonable to say that
    carb-restricted diets generally say to keep carbs below 75g (300
    calories). Some say to keep it lower than that, but for this
    discussion let's call that the threshold. If these numbers were
    correct, what their experiments compared was not "below threshold vs
    above threshold", but rather "3 times threshold vs 4 times threshold".
    That is so far above from the threshold that you can't really say that
    this shows anything at all about lowcarb vs SAD (let alone lowcarb vs
    lowfat).

    In short - they didn't test lowcarb, they shouldn't put in statements
    that give the impression that they did.
     
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