Low carb diets are still a metabolic mystery

Popular Science | 11/15/2018 | Staff
hakimi308hakimi308 (Posted by) Level 4
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A lot of nutrition science seems to contradict itself, and the latest headline-making study is no exception.

Bodies are, in a lot of ways, like black boxes, especially when it comes to metabolism. We can measure what you take in and put out, but it’s difficult to know what’s really going on inside. Do carbohydrates prime your metabolism to pack on the pounds? Some experts vehemently believe that they do, but plenty of other experts disagree just as forcefully. That doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about, it just means that nutrition science isn’t yet at a stage where we understand enough of the fundamentals to have a unified theory that everyone can subscribe to. Scientists are still debating a lot of the details.

Debate - Carb - Diets - Energy - Researchers

This most recent debate is about whether low carb diets help you burn more energy. Researchers who just published a study in the British Medical Journal say they’ve got solid evidence that your metabolism increases when you cut carbohydrates. They’re not claiming this is the end-all-be-all account, they’re simply confident in their findings.

But a close look at the “limitations” section in their paper reveals a lot about what this debate is really about: methodology. These scientists used a method of quantifying metabolism called doubly labeled water that is considered by some to be a gold standard, but by others to be potentially flawed. “Some investigators recently proposed a novel reason why the doubly labeled water method—used extensively in nutrition research for decades—would bias comparisons among diets varying in macronutrient ratio,” the authors write. They conclude that this purported bias “is highly speculative and unlikely to be meaningful.” Yet plenty of other nutrition and obesity researchers think otherwise, so let’s unpack this.

Nutrition - Studies - Ones - Headlines - Focus

Some nutrition studies, often the ones that make headlines, focus on weight loss because it’s the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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