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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 08:27
rconn2 rconn2 is offline
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Default Contradictory theories and evidence - low carb vs low fat

I just read the book: "Volek & Phinney's Art & Science of LC". Fascinating, but then it raised a serious question that undermined my understanding:

page 86: "pretty consistently, as dietary fat percent is increased from 30% to 60% in animals and in humans, insulin sensitivity does get worse. But once above 60% of energy as fat, which typically translates to less than 20% of energy as carbohydrates (assuming 15-20% from protein), insulin resistance turns around and starts to improve."

"does get worse"?! They did describe an "island effect" where going half-way low carb might not get you there (better insulin sensitivity and other beneficial effects). But, that both duration of diet (at least 2 weeks long) and degree of carb restriction were important.

This is very confusing and yet is very important to understand. So, cutting out that baked potato might be making matters worse for someone w/ IR or T2D? That is, unless they're willing to go full ketogenic?

The book is acknowledging that increasing fat does cause a worsening of IR. Can anyone provide any insights?
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 08:48
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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It's not contradictory. All it really shows is that metabolism is complex and it's not simply a question of whether fat is good or bad for you. Rather in order to assess the effect of fat on health you have to look at it within the context of what else is being eaten.

Jean
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 09:03
rconn2 rconn2 is offline
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Well, if it's generally agreed that protein intake should remain fairly constant, and on a weight maintaining diet, then as fat goes up, carbs must go down and vice versa.

The book I read was clearly promoting a high fat (even saturated fat), low carb diet. Yet, undermined itself.

And, this isn't personal, but friendly discussion, your answer is a non-answer or that the answer is that there is no answer -- none that anyone, at least I, can understand.
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 09:41
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Welcome to the forum! The metabolism is complex. As you review the threads on this forum, you'll likely see the term N=1 many times. We use that to indicate that consumption of the macros (fat, protein, carbs) is not the same for everyone. Each individual has a unique insulin resistance (IR) quotient based on how the individual has eaten over the past many years and how his or her metabolism has responded to those eating habits. Some of us do very well with extremely low carb approaches for the long term. Being very low carb has helped me eliminate IR. Others can tolerate different ratios and do just as well. It's never one size fits all. Part of this journey is finding the right combination of foods (macros and types) that enable you to have success with whatever your goals are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rconn2
Well, if it's generally agreed that protein intake should remain fairly constant, and on a weight maintaining diet, then as fat goes up, carbs must go down and vice versa.

The book I read was clearly promoting a high fat (even saturated fat), low carb diet. Yet, undermined itself.

You're reading a very well thought out book by two experts who have had much success in promoting a ketogenic approach. Yes, saturated fat is emphasized (and it's healthy despite what we've been told since the late 70s), but your ratios are critical and protein consumption tends to be one of the more misunderstood factors in this case. To go into ketosis, one must strictly limit carbs and protein. If you consume too much protein at the expense of carbs, your metabolism will use that protein to produce glucose. There is a "sweet spot" (no pun) for each individual. Loading up on healthy fat is not always the answer. Fat does help with satiety, but too much undermines the process as well. Find your correct ratio of macros and follow the recommendation of protein levels using the lean body mass calculation in the book. Remember they're using lean body mass and also remember that an 8 ounce piece of meat does not contain 8 ounces of protein. Rather, depending on the protein, there are approximately 7 grams of protein per ounce of total protein source weight after subtracting for water, fat, tissue, etc. Yes, it's a journey, but a very rewarding one when you start to find the correct levels that enable success for you.
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 09:44
andante andante is offline
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It totally makes sense to me. (non scientist, just based on personal experience and limited science understanding). When I did low fat years ago, my fat intake was way less than 30 percent.... and I was superfit and healthy and thin EXCEPT that the deprivation and cravings made me crazy. In other words, from a metabolic/weight standpoint, low fat worked. it just wasn't sustainable.

In the "moderation" class, you "moderate everything" -- and it's the road to hell. You have BOTH the insulin issues of the baked potato and grains upping your glucose, AND the calorie issues of the high fat. That's why (in my opinion only) "moderation" doesn't work -- it gives you the worst of both worlds.

Then you get into the high-fat area, and you lose the appetite and sugar craving effects of the insulin, and go back to a beneficial metabolism.

That may be a simplistic summary, but it certainly explains my experience. Moderation = death to diet.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 09:58
rconn2 rconn2 is offline
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Tks to all for your responses. So, low fat is good and high fat is good, but in-between is bad (assuming protein is kept at the fairly constant, optimal level)?

Re: ratios... if protein is kept constant, then as fat goes up, carbs go down and vice versa (if on a weight steady woe). So, the question is what is the correct ratio of carb/fat (esp. wrt IR)?

The best I can understand, is from high to low (carb/fat): good, bad, good (high carb: good; high fat: bad; keto or close: good).

Maybe this is the way it really is... but if so, this isn't very easy to grasp nor with how diet recommendations always change, very confidence inspiring.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 10:31
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bkloots bkloots is offline
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You're asking good questions. But I think you're looking for a simple, one-size-fits-all answer when there's not one.
Quote:
The best I can understand, is from high to low (carb/fat): good, bad, good (high carb: good; high fat: bad; keto or close: good).
Not so fast.

As someone pointed out, every body is different. You might want to look into the differences in INSULIN, the driver of fat accumulation. With a well-functioning metabolism, the ratios of carbs, fat, and protein are far less critical. "In between" works fine, if the diet consists of real food with nutritional value.

Not everyone is insulin resistant. But those who are have a greater chance of accumulating fat and a far greater challenge shedding it, unless they take steps to permanently modify the diet, both carbohydrate and total energy consumption.

YMMV.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 12:56
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teaser teaser is offline
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Fat does compete with glucose for uptake, and various free fatty acids have direct and indirect signalling effects that favour fat as fuel vs. glucose. This decreases the demand for glucose in cells that can burn fat for energy. On the glucose side, a similar thing happens. If lots of glucose is being metabolized in a cell, there are pathways that decrease fatty acid oxidation and shunt free fatty acids towards storage as triglyceride.

Normally after a high carb meal, lipolysis decreases in fat cells and free fatty acids are greatly decreased in the blood, this decreases fat as an option for metabolically active cells. So they're more receptive to the incoming glucose, more sensitive to insulin. Dietary fat eaten with carbohydrate can interfere with this effect, since there's an overlap of fat and glucose entering the blood stream. More fat does mean more competition with glucose for uptake. But more glucose means the same to fat. Eating pure fat requires almost no insulin secretion. Eating a mix of fat and glucose, the fat increases the amount of insulin required per gram of glucose. The body gets a mixed signal. So things are a bit easier when the ratio of fat to carbohydrate is to one or the other extreme.




http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot....d-dr-davis.html

This is my favourite blog on the subject.

Quote:
So, cutting out that baked potato might be making matters worse for someone w/ IR or T2D?


No, but within a certain range, replacing the potato calories with butter might.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 16:34
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bkloots bkloots is offline
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Right. What Teaser said. That's what I meant.
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 16:59
andante andante is offline
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I would argue that low fat may work well -- but it is not sustainable for many people.

And I totally agree that this discussion needs to acknowledge that it all works differently for people with different biochemistries -- I was responding, in my previous post, as a metabolic-disorder person. For me, low fat worked, but wasn't sustainable. Moderation did not work. Low carb works and so far has been very easy to sustain. For me. Yes, YMMV
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Mar-09-17, 21:52
rconn2 rconn2 is offline
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Interesting responses... any links or books that fully explain this? I did read, as I mentioned, "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living".

There are books promoting low fat and of course low carb, but are there any that explain how both might apply and the nuances?

I'm IR and am trying to figure out my optimal woe, then develop the right habit. The last thing I want to do is make things worse!
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-17, 00:07
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Liz53 Liz53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconn2

I'm IR and am trying to figure out my optimal woe, then develop the right habit. The last thing I want to do is make things worse!


What makes you think or know you are IR?

It often shows up with weight gain. You appear to be in a normal weight range and according to your stats, are satisfied with your current weight.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-17, 04:08
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JEY100 JEY100 is online now
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Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconn2
Interesting responses... any links or books that fully explain this? I did read, as I mentioned, "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living".

There are books promoting low fat and of course low carb, but are there any that explain how both might apply and the nuances?

I'm IR and am trying to figure out my optimal woe, then develop the right habit. The last thing I want to do is make things worse!


Denise Minger introduced her explanation of why both VLC and VLF can work in her book, Death by Food Pyramid and has explored in the years since further on her blog. The Oct 2015 post In Defense of Fat, Part 1 kicked it off and she still hasn't written part 2. Don't worry, each of her blog posts are the length of a book...she explains it in depth. That post even has a clickable table of contents, but one simple graphic shows "magic" under 10% fat and "different magic" over 65% fat. Can also watch her talk at AHS she mentions.
https://deniseminger.com

Last edited by JEY100 : Fri, Mar-10-17 at 04:20.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-17, 15:47
rconn2 rconn2 is offline
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Thanks for the links. Re: why I think I'm IR. Fasting BG above normal for several years (but not T2D). My dad was T2D and his mother and her mother.

My weight is now 179 (5' 10"). I'll fix my profile. I'm probably around 15+ lbs over. 160 is a sticking set-point as is 168. My extra weight is around the middle. This is the high range for me... I notice and don't like and lose weight fairly easily by cutting stuff out for a while (I'm not a big food person).

I don't know what to make of it, but my cholesterol is generally good. Triglycerides in the 30's and 40's and HDL around 60. LDL a little on the higher side (118 w/ a lower carb diet; 135 and 138 in previous years w/ no diet).

I like to figure things out -- what is the optimal approach, and then develop a routine. It's so much easier when things are simple
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  #15   ^
Old Fri, Mar-10-17, 16:19
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Things can get a lot simpler when you find out which foods and ratios work for you. While the metabolism is complex, it's not complex to figure out what works. If you're willing to do some trial and error (an N=1 approach), you'll be able to get to the right foods, amounts, and combinations for you. It takes some patience and a willingness to suspend belief in the traditional things we've been taught about healthy eating and nutrition.
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