If you routinely belly up to the bar at your favorite fast food chain and order a super-sized soft drink with those fries, you've got a combination that threatens your health. The worst ingredient: Fructose, reported Science 2.0 News on Sunday. And in contrast, a low carb diet can reduce blood sugar surges while boosting weight loss.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) causes liver damage when fructose is consumed, discovered researchers. They emphasized it's not natural fructose, which exists in berries and apples, but artificial fructose in sodas and sweeteners that hurts the body.
"This result points to the harmful effect of adding fructose to the usual Western, high-fat diet and, together with other related findings, should stimulate the discussion on the use of fructose and fructose-containing sweeteners in beverages and packaged foods," said study leader Dr. Susanna Iossa, who led the study at the University of Naples in Italy.
What should you eat in place of the usual artificially sweetened glass of orange juice with waffles or muffins made with fructose sweeteners?
A diet low in carbohydrates or, alternatively, low on the glycemic index scale. That's the conclusion of a new study led by Cara Ebbeling, PhD, associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital, reported the International News Network on Monday.
The researchers compared different types of diets to determine their benefits for weight loss, blood sugar and weight maintenance. Their conclusion: "Contrary to nutritional dogma, all calories are not created equal,” said Ludwig, who also directs the Optimal Weight for Life Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital.
The most ineffective diet: Low-fat plans, which are recommended by the American Heart Association. Researchers found that study participants burned fewer calories on these diets.
In contrast, low carb diets - whether Paleo, high protein or high fat - provide numerous benefits, said Professor Timothy Noakes in an exclusive interview. After reading the research, he became a believer by first trying the diet for tackling his own concerns.
"Within eight weeks I had lost 11kg and improved my running times to those I had last run 20 years earlier," he told me. "Increasing infirmity that I thought was due to increasing age was in fact caused by the high carbohydrate diet that I was eating.
But all low carb diets are not created equal. While high fat ketogenic diets drastically slash carbohydrates, for example, Paleo diets emphasize the unprocessed food aspect of the low carb lifestyle. How do you know whether you should choose a low carb high fat (LCHF) keto diet or a high protein plan or power up with Paleo?
"The more fat you eat, and the less protein and carbohydrate, the more ketogenic the diet becomes. I focus on limiting carbs for everyone with insulin resistance. If you have diabetes, then it makes sense to focus on eating more fat and less protein since protein acts as a partial carbohydrate," he explained.
But for weight loss, emphasizes Noakes, the key is cutting carbohydrates. "In turn, this controls hunger which both boosts how much weight is lost and helps dieters to maintain. Calorie counting and doing huge amounts of exercise to control weight does not work and is in any case completely unnecessary," he said.