Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well Looky here!

This looks interesting. I am looking forward to reading the entire paper when the final version comes out.

Here's the cliff notes:

1. We looked at other studies comparing a HPLC diet with a conventional/recommended high-carb diet. (The HPLC diets won!)

2. We didn't like how much protein they were eating on the HPLC diet

3. So, we decided to test a more moderate-protein/lower-carb diet against the conventional diet.

4. We also didn't like the fact that people on the conventional diets were eating lots of junk.  So, to stack the deck, we made the conventional diet "more healthy" by limiting refined grains and sugar.

5. The conventional diet still flunked. Women on the zone diet lost more weight, more fat weight and had better blood pressure.

Basically, this study a comparison of a 40:30:30 Zone diet with a high-fiber 50:20:30 diet. (That's Carb:Protein:Fat) This study attempts to address the problems people found with earlier studies. In this study, the 50:20:30 diet included "healthier" high-fiber carbs and a reduction in sugar. (This higher-carb diet is similar in macronutrient composition to the diet featured on a weight loss website.)

The beginning of the provisional abstract has a few weasel words, like this:

"Studies have suggested that moderately high protein diets may be more appropriate than conventional low-fat high carbohydrate diets for individuals at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes"

What many studies have actually shown is that low-carbohydrate diets work better than high carbohydrate diets. But these researchers (or their peer-reviewing overlords) just couldn't bring themselves to the point of actually saying that. Nor did they say that about the "winning" diet in this latest diet contest. A quick look at the composition of the two diets shows that not only was the winnning diet higher in protein, it was also lower in carbohydrate.

Interesting. The people on the lower-carb Zone diet lost significantly more weight and significantly more body fat than the higher-carb diet, even after they tried to make the high-carb diet more "healthy". Diastolic blood pressure is also more reduced on the lower-carb plan.  No matter how much they try to "shore up" the healthiness of the conventional diet, it still flunks.

Also interesting to note that these plans were both called relatively low fat. This fat content (kept constant at 30%) is much higher than what is currently recommended by the the so-called "experts" in the U.S. Maybe that is lower fat than the norm for New Zealand, or maybe it is a nod to the healthyheartexperts who demand that a diet be low fat before it can even be considered or published in most journals.

Gotta have those healthywholegrains!! Sure did lots of good for the people on that diet, didn't it?

Comparison of high protein and high fiber weight-loss diets in women with risk factors for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial

Lisa A Te MorengaMegan T LeversSheila M WilliamsRachel C Brown and Jim Mann

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