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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 01-28-2005, 02:54 PM   #1
Kawika Harbottle
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This may come out as a rant but bear with me.

I sat in on a lecture sponsored by the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii (yeah I was being set up for disappointment, but I'm a sucker for lectures on opposing views) and the RD giving the lecture stated some stuff that bothered me.

This lecture took place well after reading the journals on nutrition which answered many questions I've pondered since the early 90s when I started college. Those journals also pointed me in the right direction to do more research into topics of nutrition. What brings this lecture back to think about was that it was televised last night on cable access and it bothered me again.

Of course as most RDs have been doing lots lately, at least I've noticed, has been to talk bad about low-carb and increased fats and protein. This lecture was no different. To follow the typical food pyramid would mean optimal health for humans and we have no reason to steer away from it. To eat less carbs would mean we would die because we cannot function without eating LOTS of carbs. His reason was because it is "lunacy" to think that protein and fats can be used for energy. The lecturer did not say what studies support his words, but then again he toted himself as a scientist earlier in his lecture so he may have labeled himself as the authority.

He is asked about fish consumption as protein source. The lecturer said surely that while fish is a good source of protein, there's too much fats to say it is the best. He goes on to say that the only reason anyone should consume fish and/or fish oil is because we have a diet high in meats and the fats associated with those meats.

Otherwise fish and fish oil is useless and will lead us to early death. Once again no scientific support, but saying that fish oil only prevents the blood clotting due to other fats that are not omega-3. So there's no other use to good fats, is what he said.

When asked about soy he did say that he prefers not to subscribe soy to his patients because it's high in fats compared to other beans and nuts. So he prescribes less fatty beans and nuts. He did say that Asians consume the most soy in the world, and they live longer than americans. Who knew that Asians as a whole don't live longer because of soy? Not this RD. There's actually higher instances of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney and liver problems.

So yes even after science has proven itself time and time again, professional RDs still may be touting the High Carb- Low everything else diet.

Oh he had one thing that made me laugh at my seat. He said that we shouldn't be afraid of eating protein because just by eating it won't make us look like Arnold. But if we lift a little bit of weight then we would get big like Arnold.

Sorry this came out more of a RANT, but it was my way at this time to convey the info that idiots still exist and are trusted by intelligent people who become stupid when someone with more title stand in front of their name and speaks (that is my opinion).

I learned here and believe in a level educated eating ground, meaning no higher of this or too low of that. Just more educated selections. As we know most studies in support of what most RDs say are not long-term with low carb, high protein and fats. The RD got mad when I asked him to provide references to scientific studies that brought the Federal Government to propose such high carb guidelines and for other in his profession to see protein and fats as the bad guy. He could only use analogies and stories with no science. He did spat out doctors' names of who I do not know of, but none of them did chemical work or anything other than observe fat people. He did tell me to sit down or leave when I asked him if people who ate more fats and protein ate little carbs to no carbs. He said he didn't know.

I asked one final question and the Q&A portion was finished, because no one else had anything to ask. "Without doing studies that limit carbs to little to no carbs, how can you say that eating proteins and fats alone cause health problems?"

He closed with "Proteins and Fats cannot be used for energy. Anyone that knows basic nutrition knows that, carbohydrates do everything to keep a person alive and that's final."

Hope other members understand my frustration. Now back to training and playing.

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Old 01-28-2005, 05:32 PM   #2
Barry Cooper
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When evaluating any dogmatic stance, it's important to understand the predispositions and attachments of the person speaking.

People will often give you MAJOR flack over seemingly minor things when they are thinking two or three moves ahead, and can see that admitting the minor point will open the gate to a slippery slope.

Generally, the things that matter most to people, and which therefore create the hottest flames and most resistance to alternative viewpoints and even information, are those related to self-image. If you define yourself in a certain way based upon a certain interpretation of the part of our shared experience you allow through your perceptual filters, then changing the information you permit can force a redefinition of that self-image.

Vegetarians as a whole, in my experience, tend to feel morally superior to us animal butchers. They literally turn their noses in disdain at people who like steak. "Meat is Murder". The most violent protests at my alma mater were generally the PETA people.

The statement about carbohydrates is demonstrably false, categorically false, in point of fact. Your body can operate without carbs, but not without protein or fat. That's a fact. The reason he said that is that you had him backed in a corner, and he gave you a logical statement based upon his personal inputs, and not upon verifiable information.

The logic is this: I know animal-based diets are bad for you. They have a lot of protein and fat. Therefore, carbs must be what is good for you.

Asinine, of course, but that is how the real world operates, unfortunately. This principle applies universally. My standard joke for my project managers (I'm in sales) is that anything I don't understand must be easy. They always roll their eyes. Yes, I'm one of those.
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:23 PM   #3
Kawika Harbottle
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Thank you. Logic is funny isn't it. I would have thought the same thing from years of being told about how fats and protein are bad. Since I was a young child and through high school, I learned such things without knowing that there wasn't much proof at all. Then again observing the moon and sun made early-modern man think the earth was flat. Go figure, what happened when science evolved. Then learning about the food pyramid and how bad sit ups are for people. Things do get absurd sometimes.

In a way I didn't realize I may have backed him up in a corner, I actually sit in the back corner of most lecture rooms so that if the lecture was important, the lecturer would speak as proud as he is of his information. So figuratively he got cornered by an EMT in the corner trying to get CME credits.

I too have experienced BTU (pronounced boo-too), Better Than U, vegetarians. And unless they touch my foods against my will, they are safe from me *lol*. I feel everyone has a right to their beliefs and personal practices, no matter what science or truth may dictate. But it gets on my nerves, as it must on many others, when they try to reason and force their lifestyle upon you with no truth or reason to it all. I also understand there are vegetarians that do not force their style upon us. The world is like that.


Thanks again for the relaxing feedback. In hoping to find alternative information at a Nutrition Lecture, I end up hearing the "same 'ol song".
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:00 PM   #4
Stanley Kunnathu
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I don't agree with the RD. But I'm not sure that Barry is correct when he says:

"Your body can operate without carbs, but not without protein or fat. That's a fact."

My understanding was that your brain uses a hell of a lot more carbs than fat or protein. I am also aware of at least one ion channel (potassium pore) in our cells, like pancreatic beta-cells, that require ATP (a biological form of energy) that is derived only from the first stage of glucose (carb) metabolism (glycolysis).

I'm not an expert but I am a PhD Candidate studying diabetes and metabolism.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:50 PM   #5
Barry Cooper
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Stanley,

There are much better biochemists on this site than me, but I do have pretty good recall for what I read, and I'm pretty sure Atkins claimed that the brain can operate on products of fat metabolism that I believe are called ketone bodies. Essentially, he argued that you can switch entirely to a non-glucose based metabolism. There are numerous examples of people, like Cathie in my office on the Atkins diet, as well, of course, as those infamous Eskimoes--that function essentially without any significant amount of glucose.

My personal feeling is that you function BETTER with glucose, which is why I am a partisan of the Zone. It may well be unhealthy to function without glucose forever, but it can be done for significant amounts of time.

On the other hand, there are certain fats and proteins that if you don't get them long enough will cause you to die of malnutrition.

You use ATP for lots of things, so I'm wondering if there isn't a way to synthesize it without glucose. That's a Robb Wolf/Brad Hirakawa, et al question.


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Old 01-30-2005, 07:15 PM   #6
Kawika Harbottle
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Since eskimos were mentioned, the RD did have something to say about eskimos. He said that eskimos are the only americans where a majority of their diet is from fish, and because of the thinning properties of the fish fat/oil the eskimos die from nose bleeds more than heart disease. Because they do not get the clotting properties of meat sources other than fish. I guess he meant the interaction between saturated and unsaturated fats.

Whether this is true or not, it made me think of all the pacific islanders or people of the pacific rim whose main staple in their diet was fish. Of course this is no longer the case with american food franchises open across the world.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:18 AM   #7
John Walsh
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Stanley,

"My understanding was that your brain uses a hell of a lot more carbs than fat or protein."

This is my understanding also. The brain uses 70% of the body's available blood glucose. When deprived of glucose mental power will suffer.

Of course this is merely science. In order to prove your point you will have to cite much more anecdotal evidence, couched in conspiracy theories and peppered with urban legends about bloody eskimos and cavemen.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:46 AM   #8
Ross Hunt
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carbs r BAAD fur u! u DONT nead them four ur braine. Ross lykes meet...

Seriously, I know what you mean: I crash when I don't eat any carbs at all. But aren't ALL calories converted into glucose when they are spent in any sort of exertion, mental or otherwise? This is real question, not a rhetorical one; I can't seem to remember if it's true or not.

Addition of monunsaturated fat (read: Peanut Butter), even to a crappy USDA diet, has been shown to increase weight loss faster than the USDA diet. By addition, I mean addition - not taking out some calories and adding in fat, but adding fat and calories to the diet, resulted in more weight loss.

Vegetables are great, though. My diet discovered them just a couple months ago, and they have dramatically improved my quality of life... :biggrin:
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
John Walsh
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My understanding is that blood sugar is obtained through carbohydrates in the form of grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. The only animal foods containing a significant amount of carbs are dairy products.

Unfortunately I do not have a conspiracy theory to support this.
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:51 AM   #10
Brian Hand
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The brain can use three sources of energy, glucose, glutamic acid, and ketones. If an individual's metabolism is not adapted to burning fat for energy, they will feel like hell without any carbs, ask any Atkins rookie if you doubt that. Once you're generating ketones efficiently, the grouchies, sleepies, grumpies, and several other dwarves depart.

When carbs are ultimately metabolized, they are metabolized as simple sugars; fats are burned as ketones; proteins go both ways - some amino acids are converted to ketones, some to glucose.

There is considerable research available that demonstrates some neuroprotective effects of ketogenic diets for children with nervous disorders and epilleptics. Of course there's also someone out to get them.
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