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scientific evidence

by (20)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created February 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

I'm wondering if there have been any studies that show the long term benefits or risk of excluding most forms of carbohydrates and grains from your diet. Also are there studies that show that eating processed foods in moderation are that detrimental to your health? This would help me understand long-term benefits and risks of this diet as compared to other diets.

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240 · February 27, 2012 at 6:55 AM

sorry..'simple' was perhaps the wrong word to use. 'obvious' probably better. it is to me anyway. I can't beleive it took me 57 years to spot it! The mechanism is still 'ancient', the fuel supply is too new. vegetarianism is simple but its not obvious.

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18635 · February 27, 2012 at 2:54 AM

Or this one http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

Medium avatar
10176 · February 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Read Ned Kock's take on the China Study for a more unbiased look. He digs out some pretty good evidence for problems with wheat in older people's diets.

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25467 · February 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

plus one.......

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18635 · February 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM

And since your question seems to be about low carb approach there is also this book..."The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable". The authors have published over 200 research papers on the topic.

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18635 · February 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I agree. You can make good decisions based on our scientific understandings of biology rather than waiting on an RCTs. RCTs lend themselves to a reductionist view of the human organism, and that is not how we work. For now logic and assimilating information from various sciences (anthropology, biology, and so on) provides solid evidence that this is the best approach.

Medium avatar
10176 · February 26, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Vegetarianism is simple too. I've found more reasons to reject it from reading Naipaul and visiting Lascaux than from listening to paleo preaching. Arguig that God is on your side is not convincing evidence, except in preaching to the choir.

Medium avatar
10176 · February 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Insurance companies are interested in the same thing in order to determine premiums. No diet plan has been studied the way I think you want. Studies of national diets. I've mentioned two American studies (mixed diet including a lot of fat and meat) and the Chinese study (very high carb) below, and it's easy to google up others. Anything by diet book authors (from vegan to paleo) will reflect the writer's bias, which has no interest in showing defects in the plan they're vested in. Reading just the merits doesn't get you very far.

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8 Answers

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20353 · February 26, 2012 at 8:16 PM

I woulld start by reading the Perfect Health Diet. I would also read Good Calories Bad Calories by Taubes. The later book will help overcome a lot of the convential wisdom of today.

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118 · February 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

I was reading an article on Dr. Eades website today that was written a while ago that explained how anthropological research of what man ate prior to the agricultural era is very strong.

I can tell you that the China Study, the Low Fat Hypothesis - 7 countries study, and many other food related research studies are riddled with problems pertaining to a lack of accuracy and a lack of appropriate interpretation of results.

Food studies are inherently difficult. However, there are many studies that have been done showing that diets high in carbohydrate cause tremendous blood sugar/insulin problems and lead to weight gain and other diseases related to inflammatory side effects. A variety of studies show that those who lose weight with lower carb regimes do better in terms of fat loss.

Also, an analysis of the actual nutrient composition of a typical Paleo diet shows that they are actually higher in nutritional value than a standard American diet despite the lack of grains.

The only reason that grains were increased was because of the faulty notion that decreasing fat in the diet was somehow good. The lipid hypothesis has been disproven. The other book that is good is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.

Robb Wolf's book also has some good science info. Also Nora Gedgaudes Primal Body Primal Mind is packed with research studies that related to all sorts of hormonal impacts of various diets.

Wendy @go_paleo

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18635 · February 27, 2012 at 2:54 AM

Or this one http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

Medium avatar
10176 · February 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Read Ned Kock's take on the China Study for a more unbiased look. He digs out some pretty good evidence for problems with wheat in older people's diets.

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240 · February 26, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Your own body hasn't got the time for wait for research proof. The underlying concept is so simple it is most likely correct. Accept it. Or not. If you wait it's too late. Only one person wins or looses.

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240 · February 27, 2012 at 6:55 AM

sorry..'simple' was perhaps the wrong word to use. 'obvious' probably better. it is to me anyway. I can't beleive it took me 57 years to spot it! The mechanism is still 'ancient', the fuel supply is too new. vegetarianism is simple but its not obvious.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52
18635 · February 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I agree. You can make good decisions based on our scientific understandings of biology rather than waiting on an RCTs. RCTs lend themselves to a reductionist view of the human organism, and that is not how we work. For now logic and assimilating information from various sciences (anthropology, biology, and so on) provides solid evidence that this is the best approach.

Medium avatar
10176 · February 26, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Vegetarianism is simple too. I've found more reasons to reject it from reading Naipaul and visiting Lascaux than from listening to paleo preaching. Arguig that God is on your side is not convincing evidence, except in preaching to the choir.

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3651 · February 26, 2012 at 9:23 PM

The best "study" I know of took place from about 2.6M years ago to about 10,000 years ago. Nature did the study based on trial and error and laws of biology.

I would beware of food introduced in the last 10,000, the long term risks both poorly understood and ignored. :)

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25467 · February 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

plus one.......

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4625 · February 26, 2012 at 9:19 PM

just eat REAL food, nothing processed or from a company that made it, and bagged it. Real food works in every society, every time. Learn to cook and save your life.

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10176 · February 26, 2012 at 9:03 PM

I think it's very unlikely that this could ever be done. Large population studies on Inuit or early Siouxan cultures could possibly have done it, but not anymore. And longevity would not be controlled for modern living.

To get what you're asking for you'd need 10 generations of paleos. 10,000 participants. Something like Framingham, the China Study or the National Weight Control Registry. Not to criticize PH Diet, but proving a long term benefit can't be done for something that's only existed for less than half a generation.

Edit: A comparison of national longevities might give very broad clues on the best diet.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html?countryName=Argentina&countryCode=ar&regionCode=soa&rank=68#ar

Argentina has very high national meat consumption (probably high grass fed too) with pretty good longevity rank of 68th worldwide (though in other reports a very high rate of CV mortality). About 1.3 years behind the USA, and 10 years ahead of vegetarian India. This illustrates the problem - is everything controlled? - but it also demonstrates that the high meat diet doesn't confer centenarian-hood. Iceland might be a better example, except that the meat there probably skews highly to seafood over other meats.

And I haven't a clue for why Monaco has the highest longevity in the world. Maybe study them for the best diet.

Then write a book and get rich.

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40 · February 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Perfect Health Diet is by far the best book I've read thus far... highly recommended if you want to know why and how..

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18635 · February 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52
18635 · February 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM

And since your question seems to be about low carb approach there is also this book..."The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable". The authors have published over 200 research papers on the topic.

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