Researchers Nix Low-carb Diet?

I stumbled across an article yesterday that seemed a bit odd. Here’s a link so you can check it out yourself. It essentially says that Atkins is bad for you – I’ve seen these kinds of articles before – but what seemed odd was that it said that the Zone diet was much better.

What struck me odd? The comparison of Atkins to another low carb diet rather than to a low-calorie or low-fat diet. And the other low carb diet was the Zone diet. There’s a lot of low carb variants and it struck me odd that this one was chosen.

For those of you following Atkins too weak to click the link above, here’s an abbreviated list of all the bad stuff Atkins does to you:

  • “many biomarkers being negatively affected by the severely low-carbohydrate intake.”
  • “The downside of severely low carbohydrate intake is that dieters go into what’s called ketosis, or the inefficiency of the body to oxidize fat”
  • “the ketogenic diet may increase bone loss because of an increase in acid in the body and not enough intake of alkalizing minerals, such as potassium, to neutralize this effect.”
  • “a higher percentage of calcium was found in the urine of those on the KLC [ketogenic low-carb] diet, leading the researchers to believe that the bones are “leaching” calcium.”
  • “Diets that severely restrict carbohydrates, particularly potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, may have deleterious effects on bones.”
  • “those following the KLC [ketogenic low-carb] diet experienced a greater increase in LDL cholesterol than those following the NLC [non-ketogenic low-carb] diet. HDL cholesterol did not seem to be significantly affected”
  • “And because there is an overall lack of energy, the KLC [ketogenic low-carb] diets actually may thwart attempts to combine diet modifications with increased physical activity”

Ok – my takeaway from this is: Atkins might cause bone loss, a need for potassium, the need to monitor your cholesterol, and lack of energy.

Well, if Atkins works for you, you might be able to compensate by having your doctor check for bone loss, a need for potassium, bloodwork – and for most of us, our energy increases after the first few weeks.

Also – there’s a leap on the bone loss item – might the extra calcium be from an increased intake of meat and dairy products? They are drawing a conclusion that they don’t seem to have the evidence for – they way it’s phrased it seems to be an inference – they’re just guessing as to where the calcium comes from.

I personally like to read these types of articles. I’m the type of person that wants to know the whole story – even the parts that don’t quite fit my world view.

I read this and see that it’s good I take potassium as part of my supplements, I plan to get my bloodwork done mid February – Atkins recommended waiting 6 weeks after starting induction to have it checked – and I personally know that, for me, the energy is not an issue.

But still…there was something odd.

I took a look at the bottom of the article and it mentioned:

“All the research was supported by a grant from the Inflammation Research Foundation.”

Never heard of the folks – who are they?

A Google search revealed that it is a foundation started by none other than Barry Sears – the creator of the Zone diet that is so favorably compared to Atkins.

So – Barry Sears sponsors research and – surprise! – it says that the diet he created is better than the other guy’s.

Whoda thunk?

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