Debunking the Diet Myths

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Debunking the Diet Myths

M. Warren Peary?s new book, The 10 Biggest Diet Myths That Ruin Your Health does a superb job of systematically dismantling the central tenets from recent popular fad diet books. Atkins New Diet Revolution, Enter The Zone, Sugar Busters and Protein Power all claim a diet with far more meat and protein and fat and far less carbohydrate is the key to quick and easy weight loss and long-term health. These fad diet book authors all argue that diets high in carbohydrate cause an over production of insulin which increases fat synthesis and storage and causes obesity.

In chapter four, Peary debunks this myth stating, ?High protein diet books tell you to avoid or minimize carbohydrates to avoid raising blood sugar. This, they claim, is the only thing that raises insulin and causes hyperinsulinemia. They like to claim that proteins and fats keep blood sugar low and this keeps insulin low. Sounds good, except it is false. Both protein and fat have dramatic effects on insulin.?

Unlike the fad diet book authors, Peary then goes on to explain and cite the scientific research proving that proteins stimulate insulin release and that high insulin levels after a meal are due to excess calories and not simply carbohydrate. He also explains why excess calories and weight gain are really what cause insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

Peary?s book also provides a fairly comprehensive review of the scientific and clinical literature dealing with the impact of diet on numerous degenerative diseases. His well-referenced text resulted from many years of review and analysis of the huge body of complex scientific evidence linking diets high in fat and meat and low in fruits, vegetables and grains to an increased risk of numerous common ills. He explains why a diet high in minimally processed plant foods supplemented with modest amounts of nonfat dairy products and fish is ideal not only for weight loss, but also for preventing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and other common maladies associated with the modern high-fat/meat diet.

Gary Taubes? July 7, 2002 NY Times Magazine article titled ?Big Fat Lies,? kicked off the media?s hype of very-low-carbohydrate diets. (FMI see www.dietmyths.net.)

By Dr. James J. Kenney, PhD, RD, FACN

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