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Old 03-19-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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"Intermittent" low carb effective as hard core low carb?!

What do you all think of this article?


Intermittent, Low-Carbohydrate Diets More Successful Than Standard Dieting, Present Possible Intervention for Breast Cancer Prevention
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  • Intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets were superior in lowering blood levels of insulin, which can lead to cancer.
  • Low-carbohydrate diet two days per week resulted in greater weight loss than standard daily dieting.
SAN ANTONIO — An intermittent, low-carbohydrate diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin, a cancer-promoting hormone, according to recent findings.

Researchers at Genesis Prevention Center at University Hospital in South Manchester, England, found that restricting carbohydrates two days per week may be a better dietary approach than a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for preventing breast cancer and other diseases, but they said further study is needed.

“Weight loss and reduced insulin levels are required for breast cancer prevention, but [these levels] are difficult to achieve and maintain with conventional dietary approaches,” said Michelle Harvie, Ph.D., SRD, a research dietician at the Genesis Prevention Center, who presented the findings at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011.

Harvie and her colleagues compared three diets during four months for effects on weight loss and blood markers of breast cancer risk among 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. They randomly assigned patients to one of the following diets: a calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet for two days per week; an “ad lib” low-carbohydrate diet in which patients were permitted to eat unlimited protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, olives and nuts, also for two days per week; and a standard, calorie-restricted daily Mediterranean diet for seven days per week.

Data revealed that both intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets were superior to the standard, daily Mediterranean diet in reducing weight, body fat and insulin resistance. Mean reduction in weight and body fat was roughly 4 kilograms (about 9 pounds) with the intermittent approaches compared with 2.4 kilograms (about 5 pounds) with the standard dietary approach. Insulin resistance reduced by 22 percent with the restricted low-carbohydrate diet and by 14 percent with the “ad lib” low-carbohydrate diet compared with 4 percent with the standard Mediterranean diet.

“It is interesting that the diet that only restricts carbohydrates but allows protein and fats is as effective as the calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet,” Harvie said.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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In response to your question, they didn't address your question--they only compared the intermittent lcs to a constant low cal approach. (Not sure why they didn't try constant low carb--maybe that would have just been too whacked out for them.) This is interesting though.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing this interesting article!! I'm focusing on the low carb data. Are you all coming to the same conclusions as me?

Both low carb approaches were equally effective for weight loss. But the two day version was less effective for insulin resistance.

*Two day calorie restricted LC diet: loss of 4 kilo body fat, 22 % reduction in insulin resistance

*'Ad lib' LC diet (unrestricted fat/protein) = loss of 4 kilo body fat, 14% insulin reduction
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the link and info. I think it speaks to the power of controlling insulin even if it is intermittent. I would like to know why they chose not to test a ketogenic diet?

I think there is plenty of substantiated evidence that ketogenic diets are a very useful tool for fighting a variety of cancers.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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Hi Cathy,

The ad lib lc diet was possibly ketogenic. All they mentioned was that the protein/fat was unrestricted. Too bad they didn't mention the level of carb consumption..
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:01 AM   #6
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I am not slamming anyone or anything. I just think that low carbers (esp on this board) are so focused on one way of low carbing. When there is new research out there, we should take a look at it objectively. Maybe it's something to look at. But I think that a lot of people are so stuck on ketosis and the atkins approach that it's hard to be open. I am not angry or slamming any one particular person but it 's good to also look at new research as well
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Raqoon View Post
Hi Cathy,

The ad lib lc diet was possibly ketogenic. All they mentioned was that the protein/fat was unrestricted. Too bad they didn't mention the level of carb consumption..
I went back and reread the method and it appears that the ab lib was only 2 days per week which does not constitute a ketogenic diet as it takes longer than 2 days for the body to switch fuel sources.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Agree to a degree with sugarfreemarie, however- the true benefits of lc come after achieving ketosis and maintaining ketosis for the longer term. Clackley is right when she said it takes longer than two days for the body to fully switch fuel sources, unless you take insulin or some other very powerful blood sugar regulator and worked out until liver and muscle glycogen exhaustion- it's nearly impossible to achieve true ketosis in two days.

I like new research, but I have to wonder if their actually studying what they're trying to study... I would have liked to have seen them include the ol' low calorie, high carb diet and see if total caloric intake plays a role in insulin reduction as well.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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Volek and Phinney mentioned a woman who was not overweight, but needed to get her blood sugar under control and was able to do that via 1 day/week at low carb. They (and the Eades) also mentioned that some patients of theirs could not commit to all the time, so they just had 1 meal per day low carb and also saw results. However, if you're not in ketosis, there is no guarantee it will work or fix any of the damage done internally, it also depends on the level of damage your body has had. It very well may work for a lot of people to never go into ketosis, but for others (like myself), it is necessary to be in ketosis for maximum (or any) results.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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I went back and reread the method and it appears that the ab lib was only 2 days per week which does not constitute a ketogenic diet as it takes longer than 2 days for the body to switch fuel sources.
Oh you're right! I missed where it said both LC ones were two day diets..

"the following diets: a calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet for two days per week; an “ad lib” low-carbohydrate diet in which patients were permitted to eat unlimited protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, olives and nuts, also for two days per week"
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:39 PM   #12
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however- the true benefits of lc come after achieving ketosis and maintaining ketosis for the longer term.
However, I've also recently read several low carb books that disagree on this point, stating that ketosis is not necessary. The few authors that spring to mind are Schwarzbein, Graves and Lutz.

So I wish more studies would be done too! Although I'm sure that personal experience by each dieter is much more compelling. The jury is still out for me...
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Raqoon View Post
However, I've also recently read several low carb books that disagree on this point, stating that ketosis is not necessary. The few authors that spring to mind are Schwarzbein, Graves and Lutz.

So I wish more studies would be done too! Although I'm sure that personal experience by each dieter is much more compelling. The jury is still out for me...
Have you read 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' by Volek and Phinney? I am still reading it but I think they make a very good case for being ketogenic.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #14
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This is what jumped out at me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post
“ad lib” low-carbohydrate diet in which patients were permitted to eat unlimited protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, olives and nuts
Unlimited nuts could easily account for the differences between the calorie-restricted and "ad lib" LC results.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #15
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Have you read 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' by Volek and Phinney? I am still reading it but I think they make a very good case for being ketogenic.
That's on my list, but my local library doesn't have a copy, so that will be one I'll have to buy.

I'm actually making a comparison chart of all the different plans I'm reading, and so far it's Atkins, Eades, Taubes (and now the one you've recommended) for ketogenic diets.

Thanks for the recommendation Cathy, and any of you let me know if you have more reading suggestions!
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #16
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This is what jumped out at me:
Unlimited nuts could easily account for the differences between the calorie-restricted and "ad lib" LC results.
Do you mean the difference in improvement of insulin resistance? Have you found nuts to have a big effect on you?
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:57 AM   #17
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Do you mean the difference in improvement of insulin resistance? Have you found nuts to have a big effect on you?
Nuts are very nutrient-dense, and it's hard to resist eating a lot of them. If unlimited, it's very easy to bump your carbs up significantly, not to mention calories.

1 ounce raw almonds is 6.14 carbs (2.6 net carbs), and 163 calories.

An ounce around 20-30 almonds, a small handful. It's easy to eat a lot more than 1 ounce at a time! Say you ate 6 ounces - you're looking at 37 carbs, 16 net carbs and 978 calories!

So some people in that group might have been eating way more carbs than others, depending just on how many nuts they were eating.

That kind of variance is such a wild card that I question a study that isn't controlling for it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #18
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I knew in an abstract way that the carbs in nuts could add up, but when you lay it out like that, it's kind of shocking! And you're right - it's really hard to stop eating them!
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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I would like to know just how calorie restricted they kept the low carb days at. I'm doing a low-ish carb version of Weight Watchers right now and could easily convert 2-3 days to strict low carb. Breast cancer scares the heck out of me!
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
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I knew in an abstract way that the carbs in nuts could add up, but when you lay it out like that, it's kind of shocking! And you're right - it's really hard to stop eating them!
I count out my 20 almonds and put the tin back in the cupboard, keeps me from eating half of the can! I seriously could live on nuts!!
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #21
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Agree to a degree with sugarfreemarie, however- the true benefits of lc come after achieving ketosis and maintaining ketosis for the longer term.
I think that people can reap great benefits from a low-carb WOE even when not in ketosis. I have lost more weight and feel much better since I introduced just enough carbs to not be in ketosis. I think ketosis is beneficial for some, but not everyone needs to stay in ketosis long-term to experience benefits from a low-carb diet.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by sugarfreemarie View Post
I am not slamming anyone or anything. I just think that low carbers (esp on this board) are so focused on one way of low carbing. When there is new research out there, we should take a look at it objectively. Maybe it's something to look at. But I think that a lot of people are so stuck on ketosis and the atkins approach that it's hard to be open. I am not angry or slamming any one particular person but it 's good to also look at new research as well

the point is to critically review the study..ANY study....
this study was about typical diet vs. intermittent L/C...which doesnt yet have implications for intermittent l/c vs consistent l/c...

many here have a background that includes critical thinking..research..
science...etc. ....the fact that people challenge..question and seriously review
anything that claims to be science is a strength...and essential to keeping "scientific studies" honest...
I applaud the responses that go beyond the acceptance as written..
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:22 AM   #23
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Becky: that is smart! My husband and I sometimes mindlessly graze a can while we work on our laptops at night. I'm going to count out a portion tonight!

BreadAddict: I agree with you. Not one variable in any of the LC plans works the same for every person. I just finished reading The Primal Blueprint yesterday, adding one more voice to the non-ketogenic camp. You're lucky that you've already figured out which type works for you!

Must get my hands on the Phinney and Volek book!
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