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The Nutrition InvestigatorThe health and nutrition blog by Dr. Roc Ordman.

The Atkin's Diet – What The Best Nutrition Science Journals Say – 2003-4

by Roc (click here for full post)

The Atkin’s Diet – what the best nutrition science journals say – 2003-4 literature

AJCN 79:711(May, 2004)”Too much sugar, too much carbohydrate, or just too much?”

Since 1963, carbohydrate intake has increased by 126 g/day. High fructose corn syrup is now 10% of total energy intake, and diabetes has increased 47%. Opposite of fiber-rich foods, refined carbohydrates cause many chronic diseases, including colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

However, the major component of corn syrup, fructose, has a low glycemic index, only 20% of the index of bread. Energy from starchy foods, saturated fats, alcohol, and refined sugars are considered “empty calories”, having no nutritional value otherwise. There is increased concern about getting enough vitamins and minerals. No longer concerned about acute deficiency syndromes, we are concerned with long term effects of mild deficiencies which cause chronic diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease and cancer.
Just too much food – Since 1980, energy intake in the US has increased 500 Calories per day. “We need to add wastefulness to sloth and gluttony to categorize ourselves, for we are certainly becoming more obese.” The most important issue is increased consumption of highly processed, nutrient-depleted carbohydrate foods, associated with and increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. “These concerns are a wake-up call for radical lifestyle reassessment. For the first time, exercise has become part of the dietary recommendations…One hour of moderate to vigorous exercise is recommended daily. If dramatic changes in exercise recommendations are required, what should we be doing about the food supply?”

AJCN 79:774 (May, 2004)“Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates…

From 1935 to 1996, the prevalence of diabetes rose 765%. Currently 16 million Americans have it, and 1/3rd do not even know it. The prevalence of obesity rose a staggering 57% in the 1990s. This increase is occurring in children as well as adults. Data indicate high intake of refined carbohydrates increases the risk of diabetes.

Data shown in Table 1 (pg775) indicate corn syrup consumption is correlated more with diabetes than saturated fat. And that fiber and protein are likely to reduce the risk for diabetes.

Corn sweetener data: High-fructose corn syrup began in 1967 when fructose content was only 15%. In 2002, the syrup had 90% fructose, and controlled 56% of the sweetener market in the US, especially because of high use in “natural” and “light” foods.

Conclusions: “Increasing intakes of refined carbohydrate (corn syrup) concomitant with decreasing intakes of fiber paralleled the upward trend in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes observed in the US in the 20th century.”

J. Nutr. 134:586 (Mar, 2004) “High-Protein, Low-Fat Diets Are Effective…” Carol S. Johnston et al

“Although popular and effective for weight loss, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat (Atkins) diets have been associated with adverse changes in blood and renal biomarkers.” This trial compared high protein vs. high carbohydrate diets strictly controlled for 6 weeks in 20 healthy adults. “low-fat, energy-restricted diets of varying protein content (15 and 30% energy) promoted healthful weight loss, but diet satisfaction was greater in those consuming the high-protein diet.” This article supports that it is easier to restrict carbs than protein.

AJCN 78: 719 (Oct, 2003)”dietary intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking...”

“Our results support the greater importance of the type of fat consumed than the total quantity of fat in the diet”, and add to the adverse effects of trans fats found in margarine and many processed foods. This appears as hydrogenated [vegetable] oil in the food label.

This was a 9-year study of 16,587 U.S. men. Android obesity, localization of body fat around the upper trunk, is more common among males, and is associated with diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and mortality, independent of total obesity. This study found that trans fats, smoking, and television watching were associated with weight and waist gain. Weight training [30 min/week] and vigorous physical activity [about 4 hr jogging, swimming, tennis, etc] decreased waist circumference.

Activity Effect on waist size (+ is getting thinner)
Eat fiber

++

Add weight training

++++

Decrease trans fat intake

+++

Decrease TV watching

++

Total waist change from all of above

++++++++

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