Saturday, July 26, 2008

Diet Talk

There's some heated discussion on The Huffington Post and Newsweek sites about the study in the previous post:

See comments under Kathy Freston's article on the Huffington post:
Why Vegan Is The New Atkins

See comments under Dean Ornish's article in Newsweek:
The Never-Ending Diet Wars:
A New Study Reports That The Atkins Diet Can Be Just As Healthy As A Low-Fat Diet. But Don't Start Buying Bacon Yet. This Research Has Some Serious Flaws.

Here's an excerpt from Ornish's article:
"Not everything that raises HDL is good for you. For example, if you increase the amount of fat and cholesterol in your diet (e.g., an Atkins diet), you may increase your HDL because your body is trying to get rid of the extra "garbage" (fat and cholesterol) by increasing the number of available garbage trucks (HDL) if you are genetically able to do so. Eating a stick of butter will raise HDL in those who are able to do so, but that does not mean that butter is good for your heart. It isn't.

Not everything that lowers HDL is bad for you. If you change from a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet to a healthy low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, your HDL levels may stay the same or even decrease because there is less need for it. When you have less garbage, you need fewer garbage trucks to remove it, so your body may make less HDL. Thus, a reduction in HDL on a low-fat diet is not harmful."
I don't know if I would call fat and cholesterol "garbage", but I see what he's saying.

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