The Rise & Fall of Soy & Gluten in the Low Carb World
Random Bump & Flashback!
Original publish 10/4/11
Because someone just asked me about this Eco-Atkins vegan vs. Ovo-lacto vegetarian study on Twitter:
Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial
Pretty much all of the paleo, WAPF and Weizen Wampe dick und krank demon foods included!! Veggie oils ... check! Gluten ... check! Soy ... check and check! Heck, even 21 Day Sugar Detox no nos ... those sugar habit triggering cashews!
As with the previous metabolic study, participants were encouraged to eat only 60% of their estimated caloric requirements in order to continue the body weight reduction started on their metabolic phase.38–40 The prescribed test diet was a low-carbohydrate vegan diet containing 26% of calories from carbohydrate, 31% of calories from vegetable proteins and 43% from fat (primarily vegetable oils).
Carbohydrate sources on the low-carbohydrate diet featured viscous fibre-containing foods (such as oats and barley) and low-starch vegetables (emphasising okra and eggplant) for the relatively limited amount of carbohydrate allowed. The vegetable proteins were prescribed as gluten (54.8% of total protein), soy (23%), fruits and vegetables (8.7%), nuts (7.5%), and cereals (6%). Gluten was contained in the nut bread and wheat gluten (also called ‘seitan’) products. Soy protein was present in the form of burgers, deli slices, breakfast links, veggie bacon, tofu and soy milks. Nuts included almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans and pistachios. The fat sources were nuts (43.6% of total fat), vegetable oils (24.4%), soy products (18.5%), avocado (7.1%), cereals (2.7%), fruits and vegetables (2.3%), and seitan products (1.4%). Participants were able to purchase at the research centre the ‘no’ starch high protein nut bread and three of the seitan (wheat gluten) products used in the study which were not available in Canada.
I haven't really looked at this study in depth and probably wouldn't recommend such a diet. But ... As originally stated, Atkins dieters of the usual variety lost weight before with all of these things now considered bad. So it's hard to blame them now ... right?
Original publish 10/4/11
Let's take a trip in the way-back machine. I had never heard of him, but back a few years, George Stella was an LC chef featured on various and several TV shows, including his own. I first heard of him on Jimmy Moore's forum ... someone commented on how too many of his recipes contained soy flour. Fact is, "traditional" low carb was loaded with soy -- be it the flour or the oil (commercial mayo anyone?). And guess what? Folks lost weight on Atkins. You want to know another frequent ingredient in LC recipes? You guessed it ... gluten! You see wheat gluten imparts some of the desired texture to LC products without the aaaack carbs. And you know what? Folks lost weight. I do think it's interesting to remember this in the context of today's paleo-styled low carb.
I'm not knocking paleo, and certainly there are reasons why soy heavy diets are undesirable. Ditto gluten, it may not be as detrimental to health in the general population as some charge, but at the very least I've yet to see any health benefits attributed to wheat protein. But contrary to what some revisionist LC historians would have you believe, Atkins was quite far from paleo at its inception and until relatively recently. Soy and gluten have fallen far out of favor now ... but it wasn't always that way.
The sugar alcohols are added for "sugarless" sweetness and the inulin for texture and to lower the dreaded glycemic index. Both of these agents can be hell on your IBS if you have it or even contribute to SIBO.
Low carb engineered foods just completely miss the point on food quality.
As does making lemon bars out of "paleo" ingedients.
If you eat the whole damned pan of treats, then what difference does it make if it the ingredients were "healthy"?
I do worry about folks who are on the super-processed high soy packaged diets (like Medifast or WonderSlim). Obviously, they lose weight, but when I read the list of ingredients, I kinda shudder when that's the core of a diet.
Oh, well...let the debate and food knowledge evolution continue...
Sue & FTD: If it's any consolation, a lot of the soy info out there is for very high/regular intake. Speaking of bananas, I find it sad that there are folks on another blog happy to see a small child push away a banana while smearing chocolate all over their face. Chocolate is processed food.
@scalloway: My point wasn't that things change, but that the demonized foods seem to shift with the winds with LC far more. WW has always been a CICO based plan in one way or another.
*hops off soap box & heads to kitchen for a banana*
I also am hypothyroid but after wanting to blame LC for everything, I think maybe it's the cycling between LC and binging on carbs that might be the real problem as in "Feeling guilty eating an apple or god forbid a BANANA!"
I completely identify. If regular apples are just "candy from a tree" then why not eat fried apples and a pecan log? It's so crazy.
Yes, I was mainly speaking to the stuff they add to the manufactured kind of junk food.
But I was also trying to point out that if we buy that FR affects total intake, we might be careful about creating stuff that is junk food - behaviorally - even if it is made with "good" ingredients, whether good means LC or paleo.
One of the main warning signs for failure I see on my diet plan is when people pick out or create new favorites to overeat that they see as "sanctioned" by the diet they are on.
That is what Jimmy seems to be doing, with the encouragement of a book titled "paleo comfort foods". How suggestive can you get? You are encouraged to take "kosher paleo" components and create new treats with them.
For my wife it was fruit with whole cream. Totally OK lacto-paleo in terms of components, she started eating enough with each meal that we saw we she was eating it in a compulsive fashion. I did not have the same response, even though I find the sugar/fat combination in Ben and Jerrys or HD ice cream makes me eat it past the point of satiation, and she is indifferent to ice cream.
So we cut it out in favor of more potatoes or rice, which FOR BOTH OF US, do not lead to overeating at all.
I also eat rice flour pancakes smothered in grass fed butter and even a little maple syrup 3-4 times per week. This could fairly be called hyperpalatable junk food and would be for many. But it does not at all make me compulsively eat more of it. So for me, it is not functionally hyper palatable junk food. But it might well be for someone else!
I am just trying to be clear that I am not being pejorative or judgmental about it. I eat things that would function as hyper palatable junk to more susceptible people. The notion of the candy cigarette is just to acknowledge that is what they are and to be careful, not to never do it as if it were a sin.
I recall a post by Dana Carpender a while back that stuck in my head. She was saying that she sometimes eats cake for breakfast left over from the day before and to her it's all real food b/c it's made of eggs, almond meal, whey protein and such that are all good nutritious "real food". I on the other hand would never eat cake for breakfast -- or if I did, I'd "own" that as being a very occasional thing that is an exception, not that the cake is OK because it's sanctioned on some diet plan.
Question for Kurt (or anybody) because he mentions grass fed: One of the things that I categorize as "why would the body be so stupid" is that humans generally need RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) for joint sprains. Or more recently it's NICER (with added NSAIDs). The need exists because the inflammatory response can cause more damage than the original injury. This is an exaggerated normal response, different than a pathology like anaphylaxis from peanuts or bee stings.
So, is the body being 'stupid' because of inflammatory excess from consuming too much O6 PUFA? If so, do people who eat a very low O6/O3 ratio tend to need RICE less? If not, why not?
Or, is arachadonic acid not involved in the cascade that begins when mast cells degranulate from a sprain, making the point moot?
Most studies show GF has about the same amount of n-6 as grain fed. The difference is mostly that GF has a little less mono (percentage wise) and much more n-3 (percentage wise). And I like to eat my meat very rare, even the hamburger, so paying for GF makes sense for me.
So eating GF does not reduce your n-6, it just substitutes n-3s from the grass for monos and eventually improves your membrane ratio.
I buy it as halves or quarters from a local farmer at under $3 per pound hanging weight.
I know that does not really answer your question about the acute inflammatory response. I've personally not noticed any difference between the different diets I have eaten in that regard, but I've not studied the issue, really.
I've not read the book. It may just be that Jimmy has picked out the most "interesting" treat-like recipe and the other content is just fine...
I have a personal grunge against soy food. During the year when I gained 26 lb nearly 5 years ago I tried to follow Dr.A.Weill's diet recommendations and started to used tofu instead of meat,eat a lot of soy burgers, made low-fat souses and dressings for salads out of tofu. Very often the problem with the food we consider to be the safe and beneficial is that we start to eat more of it without noticing. The best test for me - food should keep me satiated for at least 4 hours, it doesn't seduce me into eating when I am full.
That's the closest I ever came to a controlled experiment that gluten didn't agree with me at all, and a lot of the low carb foods that made me feel bad suddenly made sense..
I think all low carb dieters go through the fake-food phase, and quickly notice they stop losing weight.
"How exactly was Eco-Atkins supposed to look like? The major carbohydrate sources on what was supposed to be a low carbohydrate diet featured viscous fibre-containing foods (such as oats and barley) and low-starch vegetables (emphasizing okra and eggplant) for the relatively limited amount of carbohydrate allowed. The vegetable proteins were
prescribed as gluten (54.8% of total protein), soy (23%), fruits and vegetables (8.7%), nuts (7.5%), and cereals (6%). Gluten was contained in the nut bread and wheat gluten (also called ‘seitan’) products. Soy protein was present in the form of burgers, deli slices, breakfast links, veggie bacon, tofu and soy milks. Nuts included almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans and pistachios. The fat sources were nuts (43.6% of total fat), vegetable oils (24.4%), soy products (18.5%), avocado (7.1%), cereals (2.7%), fruits and vegetables (2.3%), and seitan products (1.4%)."
Read: it's difficult to stay with this diet, and it's a lower-calorie diet.
'Forty-seven overweight participants, recruited by newspaper advertisement and hospital clinic notices, undertook the 1-month metabolic first phase of the study ... that has been previously reported.... At the start of the study, participants were given the option to participate in the metabolic and ad libitum phases or only the metabolic phase. On completion of the metabolic phase, 39 participants (19 control and 20 test participants) continued for an ad libitum 6-month study and their data (n=39) were used in the final analysis....'
The participants who continued on to the ad libitum phase should be the absolute best adherents to the diet.
'The approximate 4 kg weight loss on the metabolic study was increased to −6.9 kg on low-carbohydrate and −5.8 kg on high-carbohydrate 6-month ad libitum treatments'
The high-carb group's weight loss was roughly the difference of 1 kilogram.
'The control, high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (58% carbohydrate, 16% protein and 25% fat) emphasised whole wheat cereals and cereal fibre, as well as low-fat or skim milk dairy products and liquid egg substitute to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intakes.'
Reducing saturated fat?
Also noticeable: the low-carb diet was vegan (bring in the big guns) and the high-carb diet was not.
The study took place in 2005 - the metabolic phase was reported in 2009:
'A total of 47 overweight hyperlipidemic men and women consumed either (1) a low-carbohydrate (26% of total calories), high-vegetable protein (31% from gluten, soy, nuts, fruit, vegetables, and cereals), and vegetable oil (43%) plant-based diet or (2) a high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (58% carbohydrate, 16% protein, and 25% fat) for 4 weeks each in a parallel study design. The study food was provided at 60% of calorie requirements.'
The month of the metabolic phase (the first month) had the study food provided. It's not as if the participants couldn't think of how to make the diet work! The high carb diet allowed twice the percentage of carbohydrates, compared to the low carb diet. But, even with the controlled metabolic phase, the difference in weight loss was still just a kilogram?
One of the staff says something like 'And muffins? MUFFINS! Oh, 'nad up and just admit you want a slice of cake, for God's sake....'
I think of that remark every time my husband brings home muffins for breakfast, that only he eats. Then he complains about how unhealthy they are.
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