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Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Protein in optimal health: heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Protein in optimal health: heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Aside:  The lead author (I believe), is affiliated with the Australian CSIRO research group that is well regarded in the LC community -- except when, in the end, CSIRO's highly successful weight loss plan does not advocate for high fat  VLC after all.  I would also point out that the authors and the summit from which this article originated were highly subsidized by "Big Egg", "Big Dairy", "Big Beef" and "Big Pork".  I point this out not because I question the findings that seem pretty sound, but to point out that discounting research based on the sponsor just because one doesn't like the outcome is common practice amongst "debunkers".

So, that said, on to this article.  I won't repeat the whole thing.  It is a review, and although requires slow reading to digest, it's not overly clouded with technical lingo.  Some highlights of interest in no particular order:
  • Regardless of dietary makeup, LDL seems to be ultimately related to one's weight status  both in terms of degree of excess weight and whether one is maintaining, losing or gaining weight.
  • Protein's  "power" in weight loss may and glycemic control may well be its insulin stimulating action (particularly, leucine and glycine) -- this goes counter to LC theory, but makes sense to me.  If the post prandrial insulin response is increased by protein with reduced carb intake, BG's will not rise as high, and will fall more rapidly.  Protein seems to help insulin sensitivity.  If this occurs, chronic (basal) insulin levels should go down b/c the insulin manufactured in response to food is more effective, hence the pancreas is not pumping out more and more insulin in response to chronically elevated BG's.  Eggs, BTW, are particularly high in leucine.  Carbs and fats are still the prefered energy substrates, so insulin in-and-of-itself does NOT drive net fat storage, it merely directs energy traffic to the priority of available glucose or more towards fats when carbs are restricted.
  • Infused amino acids raised BG levels and insulin, while ingested whole proteins seem to have the opposite effect.  I've seen many studies demonstrating similar effects for infused vs. ingested fats, and liquid glucose vs. whole carbs.  As the review points out, this underscores the involvement of our digestive systems and livers in the whole picture.
High protein is not defined here.  But there is some info on diets in which carbs are replaced with protein (as opposed to fats as is highly recommended in the LC world these days).  For me, this seems to be where it's at for weight loss.

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