December 11

More idiocy from the ADA


The American Diabetes Association strikes again with this WebMD interview on low-carb diets. After selling out to the food industry, how do these people have any credibility at all. The woman giving this interview doesn’t have a clue as to how low-carb diets work. I guess in her opinion a ‘sensible’ low-carb diet is one that, well, isn’t really a low-carb diet.
And, get a load of how the brain has to get glucose from the dietary carbohydrate. I guess this woman has never heard of gluconeogenesis.

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  1. Remember the Charlie Brown cartoons and how when Lucy van Pelt explained things, it was all skewed?
    When I read such things from the ADA it’s like they’re channeling the nutrition science version of Lucy, Gracie Allen and Jessica Simpson (is chicken of the sea, tuna or chicken?).
    Hi Connie–
    It’s almost as if they have an alternate reality.

  2. She ought to be embarrassed of herself, not knowing about gluconeogenesis… On the other hand, I am amazed to see WebMD acknowledging that there is any merit at all to eating fewer carbs. Usually any reference to low carb in the mainstream media is filled with a parade of horribles associated with a low carb diet: exhaustion, muscle aches, heart disease, destruction of Sector Zero on your computer’s hard drive, etc.
    Hi Beth–
    So that’s why I’m having a problem with Sector Zero…
    Yes, it is bizarre that she doesn’t know about basic biochemistry, but…consider the source.

  3. I remember you posted some data in an old post about the glucose requirements under ketosis.
    What were the numbers, and was it considering keto-adaptation? I read that “After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose for 3 days, the brain gets 30% of its energy from ketone bodies. After 40 days, this goes up to 70% (during the initial stages the brain does not burn ketones, since they are an important substrate for lipid synthesis in the brain).”
    I can’t find much info about this so-called keto-adaptation. Can it go above 70% in a close-to-nil carbs diet? This is the kind of stuff that is considered immoral to study on humans I guess.
    There are a bunch of studies stating that sports performance decrease on low-carb diets. In my opinion there are two reasons: they don’t let the person adapt and most people still eat too many carbs on ketosis diets, thus never becoming truly keto-adapted.
    Some people believe that muscles can only run on glycogen, which seems completely wrong according to my personal experience in the gym. But I have to admit that I can’t find much info about what the muscles do when they ain’t filled with glycogen, all we see is the same crap that say “it’s ATP, then glucose, then our fat stores”…
    Hi Max–
    I’ve made about a zillion posts in the last couple of years, so I can’t remember the specific one you’re asking about.  I can tell you that under non-ketotic conditions the brain and other cells requiring glucose for energy require about 200 grams of carbohydrate.  During fasting or during a ketogenic diet the glucose requirements fall to about 120-130 grams per day.  Certain cells–red blood cells, for example–can only use glucose.  Others, including brain cells, can switch to ketone use for energy.  During fasting where does this glucose come from since it doesn’t come from the diet?  It comes from gluconeogenesis, the liver’s ability to convert protein and the glycerol backbone of triglycerides (storage fat) to glucose. Via gluconeogenesis, the liver can produce about 200 grams of glucose per day.
    There is indeed an adaptation period required to shift over to ketone use.  It varies, but depending on the fat content of the diet (the more fat, the less time), but usually takes a few days.  A number of studies have shown that people who seem to fatigue easily on low-carb, high-fat diets compared to those on high-carb diets actually improve their endurance once adapted, and then typically have greater endurance than their carb-fed compatriots.

  4. Hi Doctors;
    I have been reading your book(s) with great satisfaction as they have reassured me that I made good choices regarding diet etc. Your information is invaluable, and, as a diabetic, I am thrilled to be able to thumb my nose at the ADA and their ‘advice’.
    Do you by chance have a list of similar thinking Doctors from which I could select a new physician to treat my needs? I live north of Charlotte NC and would love to be able to visit a physician who supports your findings regarding insulin control and health.
    Thanks for all your great teachings.
    Hey Jeff–
    I don’t know where Charlotte is precisely (even though I gave a lecture to a couple of thousand people there once) in relation to where Duke University is. But Dr. Eric Westman at Duke is a major proponent of the low-carb diet. At the very least I’m sure someone in his office might be able to recommend someone in Charlotte.

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