Author Topic: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex  (Read 42452 times)

Offline petejh

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Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« on: April 23, 2015, 01:28:23 pm »
I thought it might be of interest to people to have a thread to discuss sugar intake.

For about the past 5 years I've been trying hard to cut my intake of refined carbs to a minimum - both simple and complex, out of a belief that they are harmful to health and unnecessary to most atheltic performance except for very specific contexts (in my case: as a pick-me-up on walk-outs/descents during a long and tiring winter climbing day, or immediately post a high-intensity workout).
(explanation of simple v complex and refined v unrefined here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/502810-difference-between-refined-carbohydrates-complex-carbohydrates/

I'll open the thread with this abstract from a study published yesterday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and widely reported in the media today. My emphasis added:

Quote
A recent report from the UK's Academy of Medical Royal Colleges described ‘the miracle cure’ of performing 30 min of moderate exercise, five times a week, as more powerful than many drugs administered for chronic disease prevention and management.1 Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%. However, physical activity does not promote weight loss.

In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the Western population.2 This places the blame for our expanding waist lines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed. However, the obesity epidemic represents only the tip of a much larger iceberg of the adverse health consequences of poor diet. According to the Lancet global burden of disease reports, poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.3 However, this is little appreciated by scientists, doctors, media writers and policymakers, despite the extensive scientific literature on the vulnerability of all ages and all sizes to lifestyle-related diseases.

Instead, members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the Food Industry's Public Relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco. The tobacco industry successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years starting from when the first links between smoking and lung cancer were published. This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives.4 ,5

Coca Cola, who spent $3.3 billion on advertising in 2013, pushes a message that ‘all calories count’; they associate their products with sport, suggesting it is ok to consume their drinks as long as you exercise. However science tells us this is misleading and wrong. It is where the calories come from that is crucial. Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger. Fat calories induce fullness or ‘satiation’.

A large econometric analysis of worldwide sugar availability, revealed that for every excess 150 calories of sugar (say, one can of cola), there was an 11-fold increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, in comparison to an identical 150 calories obtained from fat or protein. And this was independent of the person's weight and physical activity level; this study fulfils the Bradford Hill Criteria for causation.6 A recently published critical review in nutrition concluded that dietary carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the first approach in diabetes management, with benefits occurring even without weight loss.7

And what about carbohydrate loading for exercise?

The twin rationales for carbohydrate loading are that the body has a limited capacity to store carbohydrates and these are essential for more intense exercise. However, recent studies suggest otherwise. The work of Volek and colleagues8 establishes that chronic adaptation to a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet induces very high rates of fat oxidation during exercise (up to 1.5 g/min)—sufficient for most exercisers in most forms of exercise—without the need for added carbohydrate. Thus fat, including ketone bodies, appears to be the ideal fuel for most exercise—it is abundant, does not need replacement or supplementation during exercise, and can fuel the forms of exercise in which most participate.8 If a high-carbohydrate diet was merely unnecessary for exercise it would be of little threat to public health, however, there are growing concerns that insulin-resistant athletes may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they continue to eat very high-carbohydrate diets for decades since such diets worsen insulin resistance.

The ‘health halo’ legitimisation of nutritionally deficient products must end

The public health messaging around diet and exercise, and their relationship to the epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity, has been corrupted by vested interests. Celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks, and the association of junk food and sport, must end. The ‘health halo’ legitimisation of nutritionally deficient products is misleading and unscientific. This manipulative marketing sabotages effective government interventions such as the introduction of sugary drink taxes or the banning of junk food advertising. Such marketing increases commercial profit at the cost of population health. The Centres of Disease Control health impact pyramid is clear. Changing the food environment—so that individuals’ choices about what to eat default to healthy options—will have a far greater impact on population health than counselling or education. Healthy choice must become the easy choice. Health clubs and gyms therefore also need to set an example by removing the sale of sugary drinks and junk food from their premises.

It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry's Public Relations machinery. Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.
Footnotes

Competing interests: None declared.

Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.



1. Exercise—the miracle cure. Report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Feb 2015. http://www.aomrc.org.uk/
2. Luke A, Cooper RS. Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message. Int J Epidemiol 2013;42:1831–6. doi:10.1093/ije/dyt159
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356701
4. Brownell KD, Warner KE. The perils of ignoring history: big tobacco played dirty and millions died. How similar is big food? Milbank Q 2009;87: 259–94. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00555.x
5. Gornall J. Sugar: spinning a web of influence. BMJ 2015;350:h231. doi:10.1136/bmj.h231
6. Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, et al. The relationship of sugar to population-level diabetes prevalence: an econometric analysis of repeated cross-sectional data. PLoS ONE 2013;8:e57873. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057873
7. http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/pdf
8.  Noakes T, Volek JS, Phinney SD. Low-carbohydrate diets for athletes: what evidence? Br J Sports Med 2014;48:1077–8.



Offline mctrials23

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 02:33:09 pm »
Whats been the result of this change in diet?

I try not to eat too many carbs like pasta, rice, bread etc but its as easy to cook when you do that.

What sort of meals are you making?




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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 02:41:11 pm »
I heard that report on the news this morning and found the 'no change in exercise levels' quite remarkable. I know it's stereotypical but I just can't see that the yoof of today get anywhere near as much exercise as my generation did.

I guess I should read the paper to find out where these data come from, as it's the crux of their argument really.

Offline habrich

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 05:24:37 pm »
Interesting comments on carbohydrate loading.

One of my regular climbing partners has been on a strict ketogenic diet for a year or so. She has visibly lost a lot of weight but also claims to feel filter and healthier than in the past. I find it hard to get my head around that, as I have always assumed that stored muscle glycogen was vital to athletic performance. To stay in ketosis you necessarily have to exhaust glycogen. But as that article discusses and I have seen elsewhere, there is evidence that the body functions fine on ketones derived from stored fat.

I am not sure it is something I want to try, but it is interesting.

Offline petejh

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 05:46:57 pm »
Whats been the result of this change in diet?

I try not to eat too many carbs like pasta, rice, bread etc but its as easy to cook when you do that.

What sort of meals are you making?

I've been tapering my weight down these last 3 weeks towards an attempt on a route at LPT and I've never felt in better health. I've read a lot on calorie restriction over the last couple of years - so far I feel amazing and can't remember ever feeling this energised every day. That's the short-term. Long-term (last 5 years) I've been in very good health other than muscular-skeletal issues including needing a fairly significant op (from which I recovered well).

Last night: chicken breast and carrot/broccoli/peppers/shrooms stir fry with home-made stirfry sauce (ginger, lemon, cumin, coriander, garlic, soy sauce light). A slice of wholegrain rye bread for carbs.
Tonight: Tuna salad with tons of veg and balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing. Wholegrain rye bread for carbs.
Breakfast either an almond butter/banana/2 egg pancake fried in butter and with berries and cacoa powder, or high fat yogurt and mixed nuts with some berries and cacoa powder.

I haven't touched pasta for 5 years, rice hardly ever in the last 18 months (before that I'd get wholegrain rice) - now I boil sweet potatoes and have them with curries. White bread never but sometimes lunches are a compromise if caught out somewhere with few options. However since restricting calories lunches are easier because you just don't eat much - tuna salad is easy to prepare.

I dropped alcohol but just for this peak phase coming up. Will be back on the wine as soon as I send. Lots of sugar in that..

Offline the_dom

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 07:22:23 pm »
I've been on this diet for the last couple of months and it's really worked for me - I'm lighter than I've been in years, enjoy food far more and have no energy dips. It hasn't impacted my climbing, surfing, trail running or training in any negative way at all.

That said, my fiance tried this diet too, and it didn't work for her whatsoever, mainly, I think, due to her sugar addiction (I tend to eat very little sugar normally).

Offline TheTwig

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2015, 01:36:52 am »
One thing I took 'home' from trying the Zone diet for a while (pretty good diet tbh, though it's not gospel, some bodies do function better with slightly different ratios of the macronutrients) was how to actually go about planning a meal.

In a nutshell: grab some lean protein like white meat (I'm nearly vegan, wouldn't know ;) ), tofu, whatever, some healthy fat such as macadamia nuts, avacado, hummus, olive oil etc and then basically as much veg as possible.

I've gotten to the stage where I have mega-salads quite often for dinner with a variety of veg + mixed seeds, cubed smoked tofu or paneer, some hummus, and then a salad dressing made of 1:1:1 olive oil, lemon juice, low salt soy sauce with some hing (an indian spice, tastes amazing) and black pepper mixed in. Delicious!

As an aside, you've only got to see one of those 'skinnyfat' endurance athletes that eat mountains of carbs and sports drinks to see what that kind of lifestyle leads you to. Grim.

I try and limit the really carby stuff I eat to homemade bread, and occasional slices of toast etc. When I was 20-21 I aspired to be a county level swimmer and was training 4 or 5 days a week (we are talking 300-500 lengths) and eating 3-4k calories per day, most of which was rice, pasta, lentils etc and to be honest I felt like shit. Last few years has been a slow journey to a better diet and I feel way better now. I'm stuck working night shifts effectively sitting in front of a PC for hours at a time so I just eat huge salads and I've got to say, I've got far more energy than literally any of my colleagues.

Good thread :)

Stubbs

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2015, 01:57:52 am »
Nearly vegan, like nearly a Virgin!

Offline Fultonius

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2015, 07:01:38 am »
some healthy fat such as macadamia nuts, avacado, hummus, olive oil etc and then basically as much veg as possible.


From what I've read recently there's not really much science behind the good fat/bad fat thing. (except trans fat which is clearly toxic)  Nowt wrong with butter.

Offline french erick

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2015, 04:27:12 pm »
Whats been the result of this change in diet?

I try not to eat too many carbs like pasta, rice, bread etc but its as easy to cook when you do that.

What sort of meals are you making?



I haven't touched pasta for 5 years, rice hardly ever in the last 18 months (before that I'd get wholegrain rice) - now I boil sweet potatoes and have them with curries. White bread never but sometimes lunches are a compromise if caught out somewhere with few options. However since restricting calories lunches are easier because you just don't eat much - tuna salad is easy to prepare.


what's the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes in Italy? South of France? We eat pasta and bread everyday. Pasta has been my staple food for the last 3 decades (I'm 36). I have never had myself tested for anything because I feel- assume- I am healthy. Sportively, I am sure I am far from peak but I am no bad either.

Offline Fultonius

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2015, 04:52:31 pm »
What's the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes in Italy? South of France? We eat pasta and bread everyday.

Not very high, I would presume: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24357346

I know the Mediterranean diet consists of bread, pasta and rice as staples, but rarely a huge plate of "just pasta" and sauce. More like a small plate of pasta with plenty of fats and a little protein. Eaten along with a small amount of meat, loads of vegetables, more olive oil, no? It's a very "balanced diet" with very little sugar, some carbs, wine (and some more wine), a little meat.

Kids are certainly getting fatter in France (not sure about Italy?) I wonder what the change is?

My own opinion here - but I don't think *all* carbs are to be vilified, if used as part of a low sugar, moderate fat diet. I think eating a large pile of pasta & sauce (with no fat and protein to slow down the digestion and release of sugars (I guess, lower GI) is probably "not the way to go".

I don't think the "carb loading", low fat, sports drink, "athlete" diet that has been promoted in the last 15 years is healthy at all (and the scientists appear to be backing that view, as discussed above).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 05:02:14 pm by Fultonius »

Offline fried

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2015, 05:02:14 pm »

Kids are certainly getting fatter in France (not sure about Italy?) I wonder what the change is?


Definitely getting fatter in France, which I put down to kids spending all their time on phones/ tablets, not running about playing football anymore. Then I read a couple of articles this week about how exercise has (almost) no effect on obesity.

Probably a mix of different working patterns, lack of money, increase in cheap supermarket food. When I came to France there were 2 flavours of crisps, these were for eating with aperitif. France has certainly become more snacky in the last 15 years.
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Offline petejh

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2015, 09:14:16 pm »
More snacky and more sugary drinky - like just about everywhere else in the western world. I'd bet the house I can't afford to buy because everyone's buying-to-let that the chief cause of people in France getting fatter over the last 15 years is increased intake of refined sugar.

Offline TheTwig

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 11:25:45 pm »
some healthy fat such as macadamia nuts, avacado, hummus, olive oil etc and then basically as much veg as possible.


From what I've read recently there's not really much science behind the good fat/bad fat thing. (except trans fat which is clearly toxic)  Nowt wrong with butter.

Ghee (Indian clarified butter) is pretty healthy for you I believe, they've been eating the stuff for thousands of years. It makes food taste absolutely delicious too. Really wish I didn't know all the horrible stuff about the dairy industry, I would probably just eat the stuff out of the tin otherwise  :2thumbsup:

Offline TheTwig

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2015, 11:27:10 pm »
More snacky and more sugary drinky - like just about everywhere else in the western world. I'd bet the house I can't afford to buy because everyone's buying-to-let that the chief cause of people in France getting fatter over the last 15 years is increased intake of refined sugar.

Same as places like mexico, japan, parts of china etc. The traditional balanced diets relying on local staple foods are being increasingly replaced with 'western style' (: shit) diets with lots of processed crap. I think I read somewhere that obesity is actually now worse in mexico than the USA?

Offline habrich

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2015, 06:21:02 am »
More snacky and more sugary drinky - like just about everywhere else in the western world. I'd bet the house I can't afford to buy because everyone's buying-to-let that the chief cause of people in France getting fatter over the last 15 years is increased intake of refined sugar.

Same as places like mexico, japan, parts of china etc. The traditional balanced diets relying on local staple foods are being increasingly replaced with 'western style' (: shit) diets with lots of processed crap.

Japan has many problems, obesity isn't one of them.

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Offline webbo

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2015, 12:57:43 pm »
some healthy fat such as macadamia nuts, avacado, hummus, olive oil etc and then basically as much veg as possible.


From what I've read recently there's not really much science behind the good fat/bad fat thing. (except trans fat which is clearly toxic)  Nowt wrong with butter.

Ghee (Indian clarified butter) is pretty healthy for you I believe, they've been eating the stuff for thousands of years. It makes food taste absolutely delicious too. Really wish I didn't know all the horrible stuff about the dairy industry, I would probably just eat the stuff out of the tin otherwise  :2thumbsup:
Are sure. I had heard there was high levels of heart disease in the Indian population as a result of frying everything in Ghee.

Online tomtom

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2015, 03:25:31 pm »
More snacky and more sugary drinky - like just about everywhere else in the western world. I'd bet the house I can't afford to buy because everyone's buying-to-let that the chief cause of people in France getting fatter over the last 15 years is increased intake of refined sugar.

Same as places like mexico, japan, parts of china etc. The traditional balanced diets relying on local staple foods are being increasingly replaced with 'western style' (: shit) diets with lots of processed crap.

Japan has many problems, obesity isn't one of them.

But a change in diet has had a profound impact on the Japanese population...



http://nbakki.hatenablog.com/entry/2014/05/30/173407

Offline habrich

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2015, 07:56:58 pm »
Yes, though note that the period of rapid change in height was in the 1950s and 1960s when Japan's economy was growing fast and GDP/ capita caught up to developed country levels. It is more likely that change in height was due to the population attainting adequate overall nutrition, rather than a change in composition of diet. For example, the first McDonalds in Japan did not open until the 1970s.

Slightly off-topic: Most east asians have different alcohol-metabolising enzymes to westerners, and generally cannot consume as much alcohol. That should result in a systematically lower calorie intake in itself, plus less time over-eating when drunk ... definitely a major swing-factor in my weight fluctuations ...

Offline habrich

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2015, 08:11:23 pm »
Here's a link to the 2 nd referenced paper from Pete's original post http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/6/1831.full?ijkey=e71ec671dac5f9f4c34bd5f73d64abe773cadbf7&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Thanks.

To me the article does not conclude that "exercise is irrelevant to weight loss" just that most people's perception of the amount of exercise necessary to offset their calorie intake is wrong. If I were coaching someone through a weight-loss program I would start by making them spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike burning 200 calories, then spend some time looking at the calorie labelling on a few snack items (ie Mars Bar 240 calories, bag of crisps 180 calories  ...) to make the point. 

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2015, 08:29:19 pm »
I agree that it seemed to kinda be a big leap from that paper, and when they say 'there has been little change in physical activity levels' this seems to stem from other papers finding that overall activity levels were very low to start with.

Offline petejh

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2015, 09:39:41 pm »
If I were coaching someone through a weight-loss program I would start by making them spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike burning 200 calories, then spend some time looking at the calorie labelling on a few snack items (ie Mars Bar 240 calories, bag of crisps 180 calories  ...) to make the point.

Would your point be that they could improve ther diet (by eliminating sugary mars bars) and therefore make boring 30 min aerobic exercise unnecessary for weight loss. Indeed they'd be 40 calories in credit without breaking sweat...

Offline habrich

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2015, 01:04:51 am »
The context of that article is US public health policy. The inference from that article seems to be that the message to the public on exercise is too benign: that an occasional round of golf or a waddle around the mall will make up for eating 1000's of calories more than the required amount each week. The solution they seem to advocate seems to be a cynical or defeatist one: that recommending exercise is pointless and instead people should focus on improving diet (whilst, I suspect, the authors quietly hope they will be hired as expert witnesses on some massive legal case against Coke, Pepsi, Kraft, etc). Personally I reckon the message to people needs to be twofold: eat less and better, and make sure any exercise taken is meaningfully substantial.

Offline blamo

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Re: Healthy Eating: The Refined Carbs Thread, Simple & Complex
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2015, 03:14:26 am »
eat less and better

This seems to be the tricky part.  You really can't out-train a bad diet.  It is just too bad that you have to work fairly hard to have a good diet, while a crap diet is easy to come by.  We don't seem to have fast food salad bars, even though salad should be "faster" than a cheeseburger.