New research, via NPR: Cutting Back On Carbs, Not Fat, May Lead To More Weight Loss


#1

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/01/344315405/cutting-back-on-carbs-not-fat-may-lead-to-more-weight-loss

Possibly some more experimental evidence for lower-carb, higher-fat nutrition. Consider me interested in a low-carb formulation of Soylent! Apologies if this has already been posted.

edit: A relevant criticism by Julia Belluz of Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/3/6098671/how-to-lose-weight-diet-studies-low-carb-low-fat

Think of Monday as a cautionary tale about how to read the medical literature and reporting on studies. In the morning, news sites posted stories about new Annals of Internal Medicine research that showed that a low-carb diet was the way to a thin future. By the time the evening news rolled around, there was a big JAMA study that contradicted the morning findings, showing that all diets — low fat, low carb — work about the same way, no matter their macronutrient compositions.


#2

Thanks for posting this. It’s a new article but the information in it is no surprise. Yes, I also would be interested in low-carb Soylent.


#3

I echo the request for a lower-carb version.


#4

Hopefully a lower carb version will be released within the next year or two, after they have caught up with their orders and have time to work on additional recipes.


#5

I’d love to be a beta tester for the low carb / high fat / high protein version!


#6

Some of the current DIY’s out there offer low carb choices…


#7

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between the DIY’s and official.

I love the relative simplicity of the official. I also appreciate that they have more liability for making sure things are done correctly (from the actual recipe, to quality of suppliers, and their own production processes), so they are more likely to do things correctly.

Unfortunately, the official Soylent simply isn’t satiating for me. It’s for this reason that I’m probably going to be cancelling my subscription soon and switching to a DIY (specifically one of axcho’s DIY’s).

In the long run, I’d like the benefits of an official Soylent that actually satiates me (without any room-clearing side effects).


#8

Good news, @mcpancakes!
I see that more and more studies show that people on low-carb diets lose more weight and faster, than people on low-fat diets…

In response to demand of our customers we developed 100%FOOD Low Carb formula based on Zone Diet with 30/40/30 Fat/Carb/Protein ratio. According to reviews it tastes even better than our chocolate top-seller.

Does it mean that we found a pleasant way to loose weight? :wink:


#9

Yes, coming from a Paleo diet background, this is not news, but it’s nice to see some confirmation of what I’ve already been finding. :wink:

And judging by the custom requests I get, you’re not alone in wanting low-carb soylent…


#10

This study may not be broadly applicable for healthy eating conclusions… Besides 90% of the participants being women, they were, on average, severely obese to begin with (baseline average BMI of just over 35.)


#11

BMI is a terrible measurement for anything, and does not really mean anyone is obese.


#12

Um. Pardon me, but I beg to differ. I’m taking what MentalNomad said at face value, and using the figures to calculate BMI, if we take the average height of the United States American female, (5’ 7") and use the BMI calculator to find the BMI of 35 to find their weight, we find that 90% of the participants in the study weighed 225 lbs.

225 lbs on a 5’7" frame is obese, unless most of the participants are bodybuilders or have incredible bone density. If either of those are true, then this study is not very accurate in the first place since most people don’t fall into those two categories.

BMI is not a completely accurate measurement of obesity / normality, since everyone’s body type is different, but it does give a good general idea based on an average person.


#13

Hm, @MentalNomad makes a good point. Here is the demographic utilized:

A very applicable study if you’re a woman on the order of 95+ kg (209+ lb), but possibly less so otherwise. Hm…


#14

Vox’s Julia Belluz seems to be in the “all calories are broadly the same” camp: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/3/6098671/how-to-lose-weight-diet-studies-low-carb-low-fat

Think of Monday as a cautionary tale about how to read the medical literature and reporting on studies. In the morning, news sites posted stories about new Annals of Internal Medicine research that showed that a low-carb diet was the way to a thin future. By the time the evening news rolled around, there was a big JAMA study that contradicted the morning findings, showing that all diets — low fat, low carb — work about the same way, no matter their macronutrient compositions.


#15

I think we need to ask Registered Dietitian to clarify these contradictions.
I posted a question to him on Powdered Foods Marketplace forum:
http://discourse.powderedfoods.com/t/low-carb-low-fat-what-is-better-for-weight-loss/234


#16

Yeeeeeep. That’s the problem with such small sample studies, or even studies in general. It’s much easier to fit the data to the hypothesis than it is to observe the data objectively. If the study has 10,000 people… that’d be slightly different. :smile:


#17

I would think for a lot of people, it’s not a matter of just automatically switching to a low carb diet, but simply switching to one that isn’t an extremely high carb diet that so many people have. Just cutting back to a moderate amount of carbs would help so many people. Then low carbs for those that really need it or want it.


#18

They may provide an interesting opinion and response, but it’s unlikely they can give 'the answer that clarifies it all."

The truth behind the contradictions comes, in my opinion, from two active forces:

  1. Science is rarely a one-shot “proof and done” process. Usually it’s lots of trials with contradictory outcomes as we tease out the details.

  2. Diet and weight loss is a super-complex area, so it’s prone to lots of contradictions, based on the details of each individual study.

When it comes to diet and fat loss, we’re talking about an extraordinarily complex collection of factors. People eat different kinds of calories… the body’s metabolism can change based on type of food, or amount of food, or even change because they’ve lost or gained weight… people have different starting points in metabolism… people have different food preferences, impacting how much they eat… people have different ability to adhere to a specific dietary regime… people may change their activity levels in response to diet, or in response to being in a study… stress levels and sleep habits may change, which also affect rates of weight loss… and on, and on, and on.


#19

Something doesn’t add up in the NPR article. The sidebar of the article says, “The makeup of the low-carb group’s diet was: 28 percent carbs; 40 to 43 percent fat; about 28 percent protein.”

But the abstract of the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine (cited in the NPR article) describes the group’s diet as “low-carbohydrate (<40 g/d).”

So a couple thoughts on this:

  1. Consuming less than 40g per day of carbs is not merely low-carb, but VERY low-carb, low enough to put the body in ketosis. Ketosis is a recognized, effective mechanism for weight loss (e.g. Atkins Diet), but not feasible for most people to keep up as an ongoing nutritional lifestyle;

  2. If the low-carb group ate less than 40g of carbs per day (as the Annals abstract says), and calories from carbs were 28% of the diet (as the NPR article says), then that represents a total caloric intake of only 571 calories or less per day! A VERY low-calorie diet, in fact a starvation diet. If the low-carb group kept that up for 12 months, they’d have lost a lot more than 12 pounds apiece. (The NPR article says the low-carb group lost 12 pounds, but the abstract in the Annals said they lost 3.5kg, which is more like 8 pounds.)

It seems to me that the NPR article got its wires crossed somewhere. If the “low-carb” group ate less than 40g of carbs per day for 12 months, they were following a ketogenic diet, which has been recognized for decades to be conducive to weight loss. If the participants were eating 1500 calories per day (neither source says how many total calories per day they were eating, but it seems unlikely that such a study would involve fewer calories than that), their diet was more like 11% of calories from carbs.

Beyond the above points, I suspect it’s highly likely that the test participants mis-reported their true food intake, as patients often do.


#20

I would like for Soylent to NOT focus on being a weight loss solution and stay focused on nutrition and meal replacement as a goal. As someone who could stand to gain a few more pounds I’d say healthy food has little to do with weight loss or gain but more to do with nutritional makeup of the food.

Maybe Soylent can provide bulk up and weight loss offerings in the future for people with different weight goals.