Panaceia or Hygeia

immunize yourself against the pandemic of lifestyle diseases

Posts Tagged ‘Atkins’

French fries healthy – no cholesterol

Posted by Colin Rose on August 8, 2008

La Presse reports the latest example of profiting from the cholesterol myth, this time from a restaurant chain famous for its poutine.

Photo by Matt Saunders. A typical plate of Montreal poutine. Can you see the fries buried under the cheese and gravy?

This sign has been seen in many Lafleur outlets in the last few months.


For those who need help with the French, here is a rough translation:

—————————————-

Our fries – an exceptional product

Produced in Quebec, potatoes, whole and fresh

A nutritious and energizing food, an exceptional vegetable, a healthy choice

More iron than a bowl of spinach,

Two times more potassium than a banana,

More fibre than a bowl of oatmeal

As much protein as half a glass of milk

Less calories than a bowl of rice.

Low in fat and salt and with a high concentration of Vitamin C and cooked in canola oil

Canola oil contains a larger amount of good fat than other popular vegetable oils like olive oil.

A source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential for good nutrition and a healthy diet without cholesterol and trans fat.

———————————————

Let’s dissect this diatribe. We would agree that potatoes with the skin, baked or boiled, are nutritious but not particularly exceptional. They certainly don’t deserve the trashing they have gotten from the likes of nutritional morons like Montignac, Atkins or Taube who believe that calories from carbohydrates are poison and that calories from fat or protein are the only good calories. They ignore the fact that one’s brain needs 400 kcal (100 gm) of glucose per day.

Potatoes many contain more iron than a bowl of spinach but have more calories for the same amount of iron. One certainly wouldn’t want to attempt to supply one’s requirement for iron by eating potatoes.

We won’t argue about potassium but one doesn’t put salt on bananas and most servings of French fries, alone or in poutine would come with a lot of salt which tends to negate the benefits of potassium.

The protein in potatoes is not a complete protein, like in animal products, and one wouldn’t want to rely only on potatoes for one’s protein requirement.

One French fry may have less calories than a bowl of rice but a bowl of French fries has a lot more than a bowl of rice.  

Potatoes have very little fat but, when French fried, have a huge amount of fat. There is no such thing as “good” fat. All fat has the same calories, 9 kcal per tablespoon, the most concentrated form of calories. Now there are differences in the fatty acid composition of refined oils from various sources but there are no controlled trials showing these variations have any effect on prevention or treatment of any disease. High profit olive oil and canola oil are “good” because those selling them say they are good.

There are lots of other sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. No need to eat French fries.

No vegetable food ever contained cholesterol but so what? Dietary cholesterol is not a problem. But the cholesterol myth has been so well implanted by the drug dealers that grease peddlers, like Lafleur, can use it to sell their junk. I hope Lafleur is paying royalties to Pfizer on every plate of poutine it serves. On the other hand, maybe Pfizer is paying Lafleur and its ilk to flog poutine so that people get obese and get “dyslipidemia” and Pfizer can sell more Lipitor to treat the “dyslipidemia”.

Trans fat is the current politically correct explanation for all the ills of Western civilization including child obesity. It like all kinds of refined fat is totally useless empty calories but there is no evidence that it killed any more people than any other kind of refined fat.

Most importantly, what is nowhere mentioned in the nutritional deception is that the vast majority of the French fries will be served at Lafleur as poutine in which the potatoes become a minor ingredient in the great globs of gravy and high-fat cheese. So Lafleur is really trying to sell more poutine by vastly exaggerating the importance of its only potentially healthy ingredient.

Legal Addictions

The appearance of a typical eater of poutine and a good candidate for a trial of a statin for "treating dyslipidemia"

Posted in cholesterol, diet | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A TO Z trial. Atkins tops?

Posted by Colin Rose on March 12, 2007

The recent publication of the results of the A TO Z trial of four weight-loss “diets” made headlines around the world: “ATKINS DIET TOPS”. The group on the Atkins diet lost about 10 pounds, a few more pounds than the others, after one year of “dieting”.

—————————————————————–

—————————————————————-

Did anyone, including the paper’s reviewers, actually look at the numbers behind this conclusion? Table 1 shows the baseline parameters.

————————————————————–

——————————————————————-

Note that the average BMI was about 32. One is considered to be obese above a BMI of 30. So most were obese. Note also the weights. About 85 kg. Now look at the results in Table 2 (below). Remember that these numbers are derived by SELF REPORTING of food consumption and exercise. The subject could tell the investigators anything. There was no check on what they said. They were paid, so the subjects had an incentive to the investigators what the subjects thought the investigators wanted to hear. The subjects claimed to be eating about 1900 kcal/day at the outset of the trial. Any adult who eats only 1900 kcal/day is UNLIKELY TO GET OBESE in the first place. During the trial they claimed to be eating only about 1500 kcal/day. So even if they hadn’t increased exercise they should have had a deficit of 400 kcal/day, 2800 kcal/wk. One pound of fat is about 3500 kcal. So, if we are to believe what they reported, they should have lost at least 3 pounds per month or 36 pounds per year. But even the Atkins group only lost 10 pounds. It gets worse. They reported total energy expenditure of about 35 kcal/kg/day. Multiply by their weight and you get about 3000 kcal/day. But they claimed to be eating only 1500 kcal/day. So they should have lost two to three pounds per week, at least 100 pounds per year. Also note that total calorie intake remained about the same in all groups in spite or a wide range of percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrate and by the end of the trial these percentages tended towards the same fraction in all groups. The First Law of Thermodynamics says energy cannot be created or destroyed. Any study of energy flows that cannot first show that energy is conserved should never be published. The methods employed by the study are fatally flawed. No conclusion can be drawn from this data. Many interpretations are possible. So, if all groups ate the same REPORTED calories on the average and burnt the same REPORTED calories on average, why did the Atkins group lose a little more weight? Maybe the Atkins group did a little more exercise. Who knows? They were lying about everything. Or, maybe, for some reason those presumably following the Atkins diet were slightly less proficient liars as the others.

——————————————————————-

———————————————————————-

That obese people lie about food intake was proven beyond doubt by a study using doubly-labeled water to measure true energy expenditure. About 65% of these subjects were overweight or obese. They claimed to be eating only about 1500 kcal/day but were burning 2500. So, they should have had a deficit of 1000 kcal/day and be losing weight dramatically but their weights were stable. Ergo they were “misreporting”, a euphemism for lying.

—————————————————————

The real cause of obesity is food addiction. Like alcoholics food addicts will deny they consume too much and/or exercise too little. See my photo essay on the topic. Which diet is this lady on?

Food Addiction

Is she on a low-fat or low-carb diet?

Posted in cholesterol, diet, exercise | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »