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Fat And Glycemic Index: The Myth Of "Complex Carbohydrates"
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August 4, 2013
5:54 am
JC
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MODERATION in everything is the key... Untill you clean your liver of fat and toxins anything you eat will turn into fat...
Worry about cleaning your liver more that what you eat...

August 5, 2013
3:10 pm
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JC:

I hope you're not recommending the "liver flush", which is quackery.  You're not excreting gallstones…you're excreting little balls of soap made from the partially-digested oil you just drank.  (Note that the little balls that come out after a "liver flush" float: gallstones don't float.)  More info here.

A science digression: the gallbladder is where the bile created by the liver is stored, concentrated, and released into the small intestine, in order to emulsify fats so they can be digested and absorbed.  (It also helps neutralize the pH of the chyme coming from the stomach, which is strongly acidic due to the low pH of stomach acid.) 

Thus, a "liver flush" does cause your gallbladder to empty…but so does eating any meal containing a respectable amount of fat.  Result: you can achieve the same effect by eating like a predator, whereupon you'll be "flushing" your gallbladder at nearly every meal…

…though without the dubious joys of pooping out soap.

JS

November 21, 2013
11:33 pm
Me
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I interpreted JC as referring to NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease): "Untill you clean your liver of fat and toxins "

People with a fatty liver will continue to have problems until that issue is addressed.

November 22, 2013
2:39 pm
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Me:

It's the reference to "...and toxins" that caused me to think "liver flush". 

Besides, you can't "clean" your liver of fat: you can only slow the accumulation of fat, whereby your liver can finally begin burning it for energy more quickly than it builds up.

Fortunately, the way to address fatty liver is the same way to address other metabolic problems: eat like a predator

JS

January 1, 2014
8:48 am
Lulu
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I have fatty liver and I am not fat. So having fatty liver is not a reason for been fat, I do recognize I was fat once, and thanks to atkins diet I lost 40 pounds, I don,t follow low carb diet anymore but I haven,t gained back the weight either. But I still have fatty liver, not inflamed thanks god. I don,t think you can clean the fat of the liver, so I agree with what J. Stanton saids, you can control the amount of fat in the liver, but you cannot reverse the liver of having fat. You just need to try to avoid the liver to become inflamed, liver with only fat and no inflamation is harmless, but if the liver does get inflamed problems will come.

Regards,

January 1, 2014
11:52 pm
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Lulu:

The best interpretation of the data we have is that saturated fat helps reverse fatty liver, while polyunsaturated fat causes it.  So whatever dietary plan you're following, it's best to make sure the fats in it are as saturated as possible!

AFAIK excess fructose is also strongly implicated, as is a surplus of high-glycemic carbohydrates in general.

JS

January 25, 2014
4:35 pm
Ed
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I read a few lines and can THROW OUT THE REST. This is bogus and I don't even need any scientific proof. I deal with low blood sugar from having a superfast metabolism. My doctor calls certain carbs "complex". I use a blood glucose meter and can see the results myself. This site claims that "fat" makes the difference and therefore complex carbs are a myth. Well that a load of nonsense. Protein is also slow to digest even if it's fat free.
Potatoes makes my sugar go sky high and then I'mm starving in a short time. Pasta is MUCH better.

I will challenge you and any QUACK that disagrees, and I never lose.

February 2, 2014
6:56 pm
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Ed:

"This is bogus and I don't even need any scientific proof."

Apparently my peer-reviewed science is no match for your strong opinions!

Meanwhile, you might find the difference in post-prandial BG levels between, for instance, a plain baked potato and one loaded with butter and sour cream, to be instructive.

JS

June 11, 2014
9:01 am
Gnoll
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I almost always feel full after eating whole-wheat bread/grains. Why don't I feel full after eating rolls/pancakes/waffles with plenty of butter on top?

July 3, 2014
12:20 am
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Skgr:

Glycemic index is only one driver of "fullness", which is only one part of what's known in the scientific literature as "satiation". This presentation, and this series of articles, explore the subjects in detail.

Meanwhile, I find it difficult to believe that adding butter to a whole wheat pancake makes it less filling…so you'll forgive me for assuming you might not be making apples-to-apples (or, in this case, pancakes-to-pancakes) comparisons. And since all grain products are strongly protein-deficient, you won't achieve satiety no matter how many of them you eat...

JS

July 5, 2014
7:04 pm
Gnoll
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J. Stanton said

Skgr:

Glycemic index is only one driver of "fullness", which is only one part of what's known in the scientific literature as "satiation". This presentation, and this series of articles, explore the subjects in detail.

Meanwhile, I find it difficult to believe that adding butter to a whole wheat pancake makes it less filling…so you'll forgive me for assuming you might not be making apples-to-apples (or, in this case, pancakes-to-pancakes) comparisons. And since all grain products are strongly protein-deficient, you won't achieve satiety no matter how many of them you eat...

JS

I have no idea, that's why I was asking you. Whenever I eat grains with butter, it makes me want to eat more, sometimes even whetting my appetite when I wasn't hungry before. Also, doesn't fiber play a role in satiety? (Sorry, if that is mentioned in the article, I read it a few weeks ago, so forgive me for not remembering :P)

July 22, 2014
2:34 pm
Rayca
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I think you're right. I grew up (my mom taught me) on LOW fat. Those were the only diet books out there. Everyone laughed at Atkins back then. Too radical. We didn't eat lots of carbs because they were BAD too. This was ingrained (ooops. pun) in my head for years. I've read articles like yours for years and have been so brainwashed I've just never gotten it. My head has been hitting a wall lately and what you say makes so much sense. It's FAT (as opposed to protein) that will keep you better aligned with BG levels. I'm still so used to low fat that I still find excuses not to eat it. BTW, my mom is full-blown Type II and I'm "pre" Type II. I don't believe in "pre." You either have it or you don't. Eat more fat, peeps.

July 22, 2014
2:40 pm
Rayca
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You're also right about prior generations and how low fat brought on the diabetes/weight gain mess we're in. Even if you don't want to eat low fat, you almost have to. Back in the day, (there were no supermarkets) you asked your butcher to trim the meat for you. If not, you got tons of fat on that meat. It is FDA standard to trim meat to 1/4" fat. Period. I can't remember the last time I saw marbling in the flesh I've bought. There used to be tons of marbling in meat. Now it's so clean, it looks more like liver than muscle. Mr. Kellogg also introduced breakfast cereals in the early 1900s. Ironically, he was a health foodie and ran a health food store. I am vowing to eat more meat. This just makes sense.

August 25, 2014
2:53 am
Toine
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I started a Low carb/low GI way of life on may 1st. My weight was 122 kilograms then (269 pounds). Four months later my weight is 100 kilograms (220,5 pounds). My bloodpressure- and diabetesmedication were reduced by 50% and I feel energetic, healthy and on top of the world. Not one moment did I feel hungry or faint and I don't skip parties or diners because I'm 'on a diet'. I still want to loose about 20 kilograms and I am very confident that this wil happen in the coming months or year. And, oh yeah, in the past 25 years I tried at least 25 forms of diets that were based on low calories!

August 29, 2014
5:54 am
Ana
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J. what about the claims we hear often about fat and sugar being a bad meal combination because of the fat coating the sugar and disabling the insulin to attach to it, causing insulin resistance? Also, the claims that fat coats the cell walls and disabling the sugar to enter those cells, sugar being the actual food they need?
Ori Hofmekler says that the best thing to do is to have carb fuel days and fat fuel days, but not the two nutrients combined together in the same meal. But on the other hand, we hear often that fat lowers the glycemic index of let's say potatoes...
Are there any at-least-nearly conclusive studies and research on this?

September 10, 2014
1:58 am
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Everyone:

I've fallen behind in responding to comments due to my AHS 2014 presentation (and other issues). Pardon me while I do my best to catch up!

Skgr:

Insoluble fiber tends to play more of a role in satiation, because it will (all other things being equal) increase stomach distention. However, no matter how "full" you feel, you'll still become hungry later if you haven't ingested any nutrients. (See this article, and my AHS 2012 presentation, for the difference between satiation and satiety.) Otherwise all anyone would need to lose weight is a giant jar of Metamucil!

My guess as to why you eat more grains when you put butter on them? They taste a lot better -- but, lacking complete nutrition (primarily protein), there's little to shut off consumption. For example, one of my little "diet hacks" is to always start my meal with meat, fish, or other complete protein, and eat until I'm satiated. Then, I move onto the veggies. Only then do I go for the carbohydrates...

...because if I start off with potato chips or the bread basket I can eat basically an infinite amount -- whereas if I've already satiated myself with meat and veggies, I only want a few.

Rayca:

The problem with "low-fat" is that we have to eat something. If it's not fat, then our only other choices are protein and carbs. Our bodies can only use so much protein (as demonstrated by the fact that one can only choke down so many boneless/skinless chicken breasts), so that leaves...carbohydrate. Apparently everyone was so scared of fat that no one asked "What are the possible metabolic consequences of a diet high in carbohydrates -- especially amongst those with a known disease (diabetes) of carbohydrate metabolism?"

Did you read Part II of this series? There's much more to the story of breakfast cereal...

Anyway, please do keep in mind that the point isn't just "eat more meat". It's 'substitute meat, eggs, and fish for bread, cereal, and other nutritionally poor carbohydrate calories -- and don't worry about the fat content of the meat." My general dietary advice can be found here.

I hope you find what so many already have: the result is decreased hunger, better blood glucose control, and better health in general!

Toine:

Congratulations on your success! I'm glad to hear it.

The next 20 kilos will be much more difficult than the first 20 kilos, they'll take a lot longer to lose (likely involving plateaus as you go), and you may never make it to a "six-pack". Don't be discouraged! You're already much healthier than before, and once you're under about 200#, further loss will be more a matter of self-image than good health.

Ana:

"What about the claims we hear often about fat and sugar being a bad meal combination because of the fat coating the sugar and disabling the insulin to attach to it, causing insulin resistance?"

The fat doesn't "coat" the sugar. What happens is: each of your cells can only use so much energy at one time, and after any reasonably-sized meal, you ingest far more energy than you can burn off over the course of digestion.

Insulin resistance isn't magical: it's how your cells say "Please don't give me any more energy right now, I have plenty."
Insulin resistance isn't a bad thing: it's only bad when you're inappropriately insulin-resistant, i.e. your blood sugar is high but your cells still refuse to respond to insulin.

Thus, fat causes insulin resistance for the same reason glucose causes insulin resistance. (Though by a different mechanism.) If your cell has plenty of energy already, it won't want to absorb any more -- and that's true whether the extra energy comes from fat or carbohydrate.

The "problem" comes when you're trying to force yourself down under your body's natural weight -- whether that's a bodybuilder cutting to 4-5% for a show or a formerly-obese person trying to lose that last 30#. In that case, it's instructive to remember that there's no such thing as "fat insulin" and "carb insulin": there's only insulin, and anything that your muscles and organs can't absorb will be shuffled into fat cells.

Thus, if you're trying to lose that last increment of weight, it can be helpful to keep your individual meals either low-fat (because while glucose is converted to fat, this conversion is less efficient than simply storing dietary fat) or low-carb (because fat produces negligible insulin compared to carbohydrate). However, this isn't necessary for good health: it's more of a hack for already healthy people to get themselves down past "healthy weight loss" and into "vanity weight loss." (I won't discourage any male from pursuing a six-pack...but no one needs it to be healthy.)

Meanwhile, for someone struggling to control blood sugar, high-carb, low-fat meals will obviously cause all sorts of problems!

"the claims that fat coats the cell walls and disabling the sugar to enter those cells, sugar being the actual food they need?"

Hogwash. Look up "beta-oxidation."

There's more than one sugar cult on the Internet...without naming names, suffice it to say that they're well off in the weeds no matter how "sciency" they sound. Don't feel bad: it took me years of research to understand that some of the more abstruse ones were, in fact, wrong -- and why.

JS

November 6, 2014
6:46 am
Bob Landry
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I enjoyed your article. There is a lot of good information to take home. We live in an open society where all the information one could want is available and that's a good thing. The trouble with that, and it is not really a trouble at all for freedom's sake, is personal responsibility. People want justification for bad life styles and the inevitable they search out affirmation to provide support. They're not looking for answers they are looking for stamps of approval and the biggest purveyors of those stamps are the government nannies that feed people with packs of lies. Like the CDC head saying that if we close the border to West African nations that are infected with Ebola it would make the epidemic worse. Sorry to get political but government has no business telling anyone how to tie their shoes let alone food pyramids. Thanks to people like you and others I firmly believe that if people really want to know about good and bad food and and combinations thereof, they will find it. I cheat infrequently like any reward for good behavior (you have to be kind to yourself) but 95 % of the time the only wheat I eat are whole Wheat berries. i haven't eaten bread or baglels in a couple of years with or without oil or butter and I don't miss it at all. Then what's the cheat food (once a week) you ask? Pizza...is there another kind?

November 8, 2014
2:16 am
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Bob:

If you search the Internet long enough you can find any number of justifications for what you've already decided to do. Thank you for the support!

JS

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