A Definite Lack of Scientific Evidence...

by Codewiz51 11. January 2012 08:05

I have been on a low carbohydrate intake diet since October 1, 2011.  I've lost nearly 40 lbs while on this diet.  While a lot of folks use these diets as an excuse to eat fatty meats, I do not.  I consume mostly fish interspersed with chicken.  I consume a couple of servings of pork or beef every two weeks.  I cook low carb breads made with a variety of flours and meal: flax, soy flour, vital wheat gluten, almond meal, coconut meal.  I eat a lot of Shirataki noodles made with something called "Yam Flour" and also called Glucommanan, which makes it sound scientific, I guess.  I consume a lot of fat, mostly in the form of olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.  Based on the trend in my blood work tests, I am eating a healthy diet that does not seem to be increasing plaque, triglycerides and cholesterol.  My blood work for these substances is showing a substantial decline, which I credit to losing weight, not a healthy diet.  (Again, I am stating an opinion not based on any sound scientific work.)

The point of this post is the lack of scientific evidence for information posted on the internet about diets and other fairy tales.  I participate in a web site for low carbohydrate recipes called lowcarbfriends.com.  I am absolutely amazed at the information that is passed around on the site that is assumed to be authoritative, even though no scientific publications can be found which really back up the assumptions.  Here are some of the things I have come across that are just silly, or lack scientific justification or are just not backed up by sound chemistry:

  • The bacteria in yogurt consume most of the lactose in milk, making yogurt a low carbohydrate food source.  I've seen books authored by folks claiming to have an M.D. spouting this stuff.  The problem with this claim is that it ignores known and documented food chemistry backed up by referreed articles in accepted scientific journals.  Lactose is indeed consumed, the bacteria cleave the lactose into galactose and glucose.  The bacteria then consume part of the glucose as a function of fermentation time.  The galactose is not touched, and the concentration of galactose continues to climb in the fermented milk.  It turns out, based on the food chemistry, the carbohydrate content declines about 10% to 20% in fermented yogurt.  This is nowhere near the claims of 40%-50% of the carbohydrates being consumed.
  • There are serious health effects to consuming soy flour, or anything made out of soy.  I hate to quote Wikipedia, but the Soybean article gives a goodly number of references and provides an excellent starting point for search nonmenclature.  The long and the short of it is: there is a lot of scientific work.  The results are contradictory, inconclusive or incomplete at best.  I would be slow to adopt any opinion based on opinionated work posted on the internet.  Your  personal physician is a much better source of current thinking.  The jury is still out on this claim.
  • Don't use wax paper in a microwave, the wax will melt and get on your food.  This is simply an old wives tale, based on the old practice of packaging baseball cards in waxed paper "back in the day".  The industrial heat presses indeed melted the wax.  High molecular weight paraffins used to coat current waxed paper products used in food preparation do not respond to kitchen/home microwave ovens in any substantial way.  You need an industrial microwave oven to begin to heat up paraffins.  Waxed paper use in a microwave is as safe as anything else.

I'll continue to expand this list.  My only advice is, don't believe everything you read, whether is is on the internet or in a book.

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Atkins/Low Carb | Life

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