I’m often amazed at what counts for “new learning” in the mainstream medical community and the concepts upon which vast sums of money are spent to come by it.
Take for instance a “new” revelation outlined in the February 20, 2018 issue of one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers were surprised at what they learned while seeking to determine whether there were differences in outcomes between a healthy low-fat (HLF) diet – the mainstream standard for the last half century – vs a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet regarding weight change at 12 months.
After spending $8 million to study weight loss for 600 people considered obese, researchers found that counting calories was not important to weight loss. What was important was eating a diet of whole, nutrient dense foods: non-GMO fruits and vegetables; lean, free-range meats; legumes, nuts and seeds; and avoiding all processed and sugar-laced foods.
Researchers found — again, to their surprise — that the advice offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was wrong. The CDC recommends:
Whether you need to lose weight, maintain your ideal weight, or gain weight, the main message is – calories count! Weight management is all about balancing the number of calories you take in with the number your body uses or “burns off.”
A calorie is a unit of energy supplied by food and beverages. A calorie is a calorie regardless of its source. Carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and proteins all contain calories.
If your body does not use calories, they are stored as fat.
Caloric balance is like a scale. To remain in balance and maintain your body weight, the calories consumed must be balanced by the calories used in normal body functions, daily activities, and exercise.
What researchers reporting in JAMA determined is that the number of “calories” didn’t matter, but the type of “calories” did.
Or, as The New York Times reported it:
The study found that after one year of focusing on food quality, not calories, the two groups lost substantial amounts of weight. On average, the members of the low-carb group lost just over 13 pounds, while those in the low-fat group lost about 11.7 pounds. Both groups also saw improvements in other health markers, like reductions in their waist sizes, body fat, and blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Even though study participants – many of whom had undertaken one or more diet programs that involved counting calories – kept asking for the doctors to give them caloric limits, researchers kept telling them to focus instead on eating real food and avoiding processed foods.
Lead researcher Dr. Christopher D. Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, told The Times it is not that calories don’t matter. After all, both groups ultimately ended up consuming fewer calories on average by the end of the study, even though they were not conscious of it. The point is that they did this by focusing on nutritious whole foods that satisfied their hunger.
“I think one place we go wrong is telling people to figure out how many calories they eat and then telling them to cut back on 500 calories, which makes them miserable,” he said. “We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”
Of course, this is exactly what I’ve been demonstrating to readers of The Bob Livingston Letter™, Personal Liberty® and Bob Livingston Alerts for more than 40 years.
According to The Times:
The researchers recruited adults from the Bay Area and split them into two diet groups, which were called “healthy” low carb and “healthy” low fat. Members of both groups attended classes with dietitians where they were trained to eat nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods, cooked at home whenever possible.
Soft drinks, fruit juice, muffins, white rice and white bread are technically low in fat, for example, but the low-fat group was told to avoid those things and eat foods like brown rice, barley, steel-cut oats, lentils, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, quinoa, fresh fruit and legumes. The low-carb group was trained to choose nutritious foods like olive oil, salmon, avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, nut butters, nuts and seeds, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.
This is exactly the proper advice. Unfortunately it will take the medical establishment even longer to go from merely recognizing this as proper advice to giving it out as such. It will take years, if ever, for mainstream nutritionists and the like to stop insisting on following only low-fat diets.
Proper nutrition is the key to weight loss. It’s also the key to avoiding disease. Most diseases are directly related to our modern diets of processed foods. We are a starving nation, even though most of us are fat.
Bottom line is that commercial food processors sell us foodless foods that pack us with calories and full bellies and starve us for nutrition. Yes, you can eat yourself to death on empty calories and tasty junk and all the time be starving to death for lack of nutrition. The life in the food is missing. We are dying a little every day from starvation.
And by the way, researchers determined that it didn’t matter whether people followed a HLF or HLC diet. Both groups showed comparable weight loss, though the HLC diet group lost slightly more.