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Old 03-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Twin doctors do low carb experiment...surprising results.

I just saw two male doctors on Rachel Ray who are twins. They did an experiment where one doctor twin ate a no carb/high fat diet for a month and the other doctor twin ate high carb & sugar/no fat diet for a month. At the end of the month, this is what they found:

They both lost weight, but, surprisingly, the no carb twin lost muscle (even though he was eating a lot of protein) while the high carb twin lost fat. They explained it by saying that the no carb twin's body was burning muscle to make carbs for energy since he was not getting any carbs from his diet. Another surprise, the no carb twin said his blood tests showed he was "practically" pre-diabetic by the end of the month which was totally unexpected. They concluded that there could be detrimental long term effects of no carb/high fat diets and that this way of eating isn't very sustainable for most people. They also said that combining these diets, i.e., high fat/high carb together is adverse to losing weight, as this combination makes the pleasure center in the brain want to keep eating (they used donuts as an example of high fat/high carb). I came away from the segment thinking maybe adding more carbs to my diet may be healthier for me (as far as preventing diabetes) as long as they're not combined with high fat. That may explain why my A1c rose when I cut way back on the carbs (5.5 to 5.9). The doctors did not go into detail as to types of carbs or fats they ate, but they did say that the high carb & sugar/no fat twin did eat a lot of sugar (and still lost weight). However, the no carb twin ate less and had more energy than the high carb twin (they ate as much as they wanted). I know this is just two people doing their own experiment, but it's interesting how the high fat/no carb twin reacted. Any comments or insight?
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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I can only speak for myself, and when I eat low/mod carbs my blood work is always better than when I eat high carbs/low fat, e.g. Total cholesterol on low/moderate carbs was 179, total cholesterol on carbs 204; A1C low/mod carb was 5.2, A1C on carbs is 6.0.

I'm seeing a lot of "low carb/high protein is bad" propaganda out there recently. Everyone is different, so, we have to go with what works for each of us as individuals.

I like Rachel Ray, she's cute and funny, but I wish she'd stick to cooking.

ETA: As I understand it, A1C is a measure of blood sugar spikes over a 3 month period, so, if a person is eating low carb but binges periodically on high carb/sugar items, the A1C will be higher than someone who eats low carb and keeps blood sugar levels even. However, that does not explain the low carb doc's claim that he was practically "pre-diabetic" doing low carb. I would definitely take it all with a huge grain of salt.
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Last edited by RoxyRoller; 03-19-2014 at 12:29 PM.. Reason: left out something
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:32 PM   #3
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This was reported on the news quite some time ago, and while I don't remember all the details, the 'experiment' was very flawed and the 'results' irrelevant.

It doesn't even pass the common sense test. I've been eating very low carb consistently for almost 10 years now (<20g), and if my body was regularly cannibalizing muscle, I'd have none left by now. In ProteinPower, Drs. Eades make the point (the basis of their plan) is that anyone who loses weight will lose some muscle, but the key to losing as much fat as possible and minimal muscle is to maintain one's protein requirements.

My memory was that this was a short experiment, and each guy lost no more than 9 lbs. I never saw any actual nutrition info either. What is considered 'low carb' is often 150-200g.

The medical doctors who actually study and advocate low carb have a lot more credibility for me than these guys.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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Well, I agree with Leo-- I cant imagine going high carb again. Not sure how statistically significant this study was? But, I guess everyone is different.

I also think that some people do gain short term on high fat/no carb but from what I have read... it levels off once the body starts to be ketoadapted and burning fat.

I am not a doctor though. Well, not yet. One more year
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
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Here's an article:

Twin doctors

I'll put my money on informed and educated doctors like Atkins, Phinney, Eades (to list a few).
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Thanks, Sbarr, I see I made an error in saying that the low carb twin had more energy as the article says just the opposite. I'll continue eating lower carb...I do believe it is healthier. I originally missed my cereal, pasta, bread and crackers, but it does get easier with time (as most of you can attest to).
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:42 PM   #7
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Ronnie - hang in there. I know it can be so tempting when something sounds like what we're hoping to hear, but it does get easier.

I've been struggling the past couple of times I've lost weight, could never get in the groove. I'm finally getting it under control and I hope it "takes" this time.

I know you mention missing cereal, pasta and bread - have you explored some of the recipes? Some, while not exact, give a good alternative.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxyRoller View Post
I can only speak for myself, and when I eat low/mod carbs my blood work is always better than when I eat high carbs/low fat, e.g. Total cholesterol on low/moderate carbs was 179, total cholesterol on carbs 204; A1C low/mod carb was 5.2, A1C on carbs is 6.0.

I'm seeing a lot of "low carb/high protein is bad" propaganda out there recently. Everyone is different, so, we have to go with what works for each of us as individuals.

I like Rachel Ray, she's cute and funny, but I wish she'd stick to cooking.

ETA: As I understand it, A1C is a measure of blood sugar spikes over a 3 month period, so, if a person is eating low carb but binges periodically on high carb/sugar items, the A1C will be higher than someone who eats low carb and keeps blood sugar levels even. However, that does not explain the low carb doc's claim that he was practically "pre-diabetic" doing low carb. I would definitely take it all with a huge grain of salt.
I agree, it sounds flawed to me, plus the one twin had NO carbs, not just low carb. There's a difference between low carb and zero carbs. That's like the difference between low calorie and zero calorie. Low calorie is good zero calorie is not good and sends the body into all kinds of defence modes. Low carb is good, zero carb sends the body into defence mode too. The body does need carbs to function and be healthy, it just doesn't need to be overloaded with too many carbs like most regular people do. So low carb is still better the same way low calorie is better than eating high calories. Zero carb is not good the same way that zero calorie or starving yourself is not good. The doctor should have experimented with low carb not zero carb.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
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Sbarr, I actually buy ThinSlim low carb bagels & they've filled the void, except when we go out for breakfast on weekends. As far as cereal, I haven't found a low carb cereal that tastes like shredded wheat ��, my favorite.
Mistizoom,thank you for the link; I will check it out.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:49 PM   #10
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My mom has been on a VERY consistent LC diet for well over 15 years, in maintenance, at target weight. She has more energy than anyone I know, definitely is as strong as any woman out there who is 60, and is not on ANY medication for anything (and never has been). Tell me that LC doesn't work......
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:20 PM   #11
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A small amount of carbs (15-50g/day) can prevent muscle loss and gluconeogenesis.

Some people do better eating a little bit of carbohydrates, especially if they exercise frequently and/or strenuously. Insulin actually helps protein and other nutrients get into cells.

Plus he said he "remove(d) all fruit and veg"--something the average low-carber does not do!

"How many carbohydrates do you need?" at the bodyrecomposition site has interesting information.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:13 AM   #12
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Ok help me out here.
I sometimes eat biologically no carbs. I will do adequate protein and the rest is fat. Some days I will do veggies. I have done research and I have never come across that I would be losing muscle, just the opposite.
I always thought as long as my protein was enough not too much I was safe.
Now I am hearing some carbs are needed to prevent muscle damage?

Where are my no veggie people at?
Please weight in here.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:24 AM   #13
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I have NEVER heard (or read) that carbs are necessary to avoid muscle loss. Adequate protein is always cited as protective of muscles. I've repeatedly read (science sources) that eating carbs is not essential to maintain health.

And we are not trying to prevent gluconeogenesis; in the absence of carbs that's how the body produces the glucose necessary for its basic functions. The principles of low-carb eating are based on the fact that carbs are not necessary because the body can meet its needs by 'conversion' of the foods we eat. Correction---I am not trying to prevent gluconeogenesis because I severely limit carbs for personal health and weight management and rely on my body to use the food I eat for maintenance and energy.

Last edited by Leo41; 03-20-2014 at 02:28 AM..
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:01 AM   #14
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My mom has been on a VERY consistent LC diet for well over 15 years, in maintenance, at target weight. She has more energy than anyone I know, definitely is as strong as any woman out there who is 60, and is not on ANY medication for anything (and never has been). Tell me that LC doesn't work......
This could have come out of my sons mouth, except he'd say '52' in place of the 60.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niciK View Post
I sometimes eat biologically no carbs...I have done research and I have never come across that I would be losing muscle, just the opposite.

Now I am hearing some carbs are needed to prevent muscle damage?
Everybody is different...the only way to know for yourself is to experiment.
I have read/heard (repeatedly) that there is a window of about 30 minutes after a workout when carbs taken together with protein will help build muscle.
Of course, this could be some bodybuilding myth, but if you search "carbs after workout" some info will come up, such as:
"for your post workout meal aim for 20-30 carbs for every 100 pounds you weigh."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
I've repeatedly read (science sources) that eating carbs is not essential to maintain health.

And we are not trying to prevent gluconeogenesis; in the absence of carbs that's how the body produces the glucose necessary for its basic functions. The principles of low-carb eating are based on the fact that carbs are not necessary because the body can meet its needs by 'conversion' of the foods we eat. Correction---I am not trying to prevent gluconeogenesis because I severely limit carbs for personal health and weight management and rely on my body to use the food I eat for maintenance and energy.
Carbs are not essential for SURVIVAL..."There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but there are no essential carbohydrates."
However, some people suffer from depression, insomnia, impaired athletic performance and other problems when their carb intake becomes extremely low.

I apologize; I used the wrong term...I meant "liver dump" rather than gluconeogenesis. It was late and I was trying to get to bed!

After exercise or several hours without eating, one's blood sugar gets low & the liver releases glucose. In some people (mostly with diabetes or insulin resistance, I think) what the liver releases is too much; IIRC, it can be about 45-65g glucose...like guzzling a soda or two!!!

Cortisol is involved in the process of the liver releasing glucose, and high levels of cortisol can be catabolic. Eating protein and/or limited amounts of carbs every 4 or 5 hours is said to prevent this. (In my experience, fat by itself does not lower my blood sugar, but protein does.)
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:06 PM   #16
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Hmmm. Just read the article.

And speaking as someone who has lost 70lbs before doing low carb and maintained for several years after that, my LDL, HDL, etc, and overall health and energy were the best they had been since I was 20. I started running and actually placed in a few races.

I agree with some of the other comments, they didn't give the real diet details in the article. My Dr. has been encouraging me to get back on the LC wagon. It was the healthiest I've ever been and my stats backed it up.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by KampyKool View Post

And speaking as someone who has lost 70lbs before doing low carb and maintained for several years after that, my LDL, HDL, etc, and overall health and energy were the best they had been since I was 20. .
Same. Lost 80 lbs, maintained for over 3 years. Only gained back 20 due to a couple months of med changes.
All my labs are excellent!

I think everyone's bodies are so different. What works for one person, won't work for everyone. I'm happy my body loves low carb/high fat/high protein. For years I tried low fat/low calories my body couldn't do it. I was tired, hungry all the time and never lost weight.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #18
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In addition to the lack of information about what they were actually eating, their bodies may be different from most overweight people's. If someone is overweight because they have an unhealthy metabolism or insulin resistance, dropping a lot of carbs on it is not the best idea. Conversely, there are people who can eat lots of carbs and do not put on weight.

Anyway, most people who eat LC do eat more than just meat, eggs, and cheese. Maybe he would have done better with some vegetables. (Which also brings up the question of how much cheese he was eating, since cheese is limited on plans such as Atkins...)
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #19
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There seems to be little science, if any, involved in this "experiment."

That's all we need to know. It's purely observation-no control data, nothing. We know little about what else was really going during the time they were eating this way.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:45 PM   #20
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In addition to the other "bad study" facts that apply, this was a one month study. It is well known that one month is not sufficient time to see the true benefits from a LC diet reflected in lab work.

If he was practically pre-diabetic at the end of a month I wonder if he was full-blown, out-of-control diabetic before starting?

As someone who has lost over 100 lbs eating a mostly unprocessed foods low carb diet I can say that I have not lost LBM. Quite the contrary. But, on any weight-loss diet, it is possible and quite common to lose LBM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niciK View Post
Ok help me out here.
I sometimes eat biologically no carbs. I will do adequate protein and the rest is fat. Some days I will do veggies. I have done research and I have never come across that I would be losing muscle, just the opposite.
I always thought as long as my protein was enough not too much I was safe.
Now I am hearing some carbs are needed to prevent muscle damage?

Where are my no veggie people at?
Please weight in here.
I eat veggies everyday, I lost over 100 pounds eating meat & veggies. Low carb does not mean zero carb.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:23 AM   #22
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the link provided by mistizoom said all I needed to know.
This was a "made for tv" test. Like all the so called 'reality' shows, it's basically choreographed by a producer to attract viewers. Not a source I would even consider when making choices that effect my health.
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