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Low-carb diets will shorten your life? Fat chance!

Low-carb diets will shorten your life? Fat chance!

By Marika Sboros

Well, here’s a page turner for the diet books. A new study in The Lancet Public Health claims that low-carb diets could be killers.

The researchers claim that the diets increase your risk of mortality (premature death) by shortening your lifespan. In other words, the researchers argue that low-carb diets are life-threatening.

They also claim the same for high-carb diets. But don’t mistake that for any kind of anti-carb stance. On the contrary. The researchers claim that “moderate” carbohydrate consumption (50-55% of the diet) is the way to go.

They say that moderate carbs from plant foods up your chances further of avoiding a premature end. They speak of  “controversy” around low-carb diets. Therefore, they claim that low-carb diets containing animal foods are even more life-threatening than those with plant-based foods.

Overall, they seem to have a serious beef (pun intended), with low-carb diets.

It’s putting it mildly to say that leading doctors and scientists globally dispute those claims. And not just because this is yet another observational study.

Prof Richard Feinman

That is a big problem because, by definition, observational studies are only associational. Thus, they cannot prove causation. But there are other reasons that this study has left many critics hot under their scientific collars.

The kindest they’ve said so far is that we should simply disregard the study and concentrate on “more important” matters. That’s what Dr Luis Correia, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Brazil, thinks of it.

Other experts say that we cannot ignore it because it bears such a strong stamp of approval from Harvard.

Ugly moment in medical history

US biochemistry professor Richard Feinman says that in a field “not known for thoughtfulness”, The Lancet study ranks as “the most intemperate and irresponsible in recent memory”. In an email to me, Feinman calls it “a very ugly moment in the history of medicine”.

He says a big danger in this study. It will encourage doctors to withhold recommendation for low-carb diets to patients with diabetes despite evidence that these diets are “often a cure”.

Click here to read: ‘Pure’ proof fats don’t kill, dietary guidelines wrong? 

British consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra is similarly scathing. On BBC World News this week, he called the study “fatally flawed” and a “miscarriage of science”.

Reviewing all the up-to-date evidence shows that low-carb are not dangerous, Malhotra said. And anyone claiming that we should all eat carbs moderately is giving “bogus dietary advice”.

Thus, the real meat of objections to the study includes cherry-picking data – ignoring growing robust evidence to the contrary. That feeds into other major objections that the study lacks scientific integrity at best. At worst, that it could constitute scientific misconduct.

More questions than answers

So, who are the researchers who would have you believe that low-carb diets really are dangerous? On what evidence do they claim that a moderate, plant-based carb intake is optimum for longevity?

Prof Scott Solomon

The study is titled: Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality, a prospective cohort and meta-analysis. Of the 10 researchers, eight are from Harvard Medical School. Corresponding author is Dr Scott Solomon, Harvard professor of medicine and director of non-invasive cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The hospital is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The other two researchers are from the University of Minnesota.

Among Solomon’s co-authors is another Harvard professor of medicine as well as nutrition and epidemiology (now emeritus) Walter Willett. Willett is as well-known for his advocacy of plant-based diets and antipathy to low-carb diets as Malhotra is for his support for animal foods and low-carb diets.

The Lancet researchers studied 15,428 adults aged between 45–64, in four US communities during a median follow-up of 25 years. Their aim: to investigate the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

Data came from a dietary questionnaire that participants completed at enrolment in the 1985 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. That questionnaire has raised more questions than answers.

Meat-heavy diets a killer?

In giving background, the researchers say that low-carb diets are a “popular weight-loss strategy”. They also say that the long-term effect of carbohydrate restriction on mortality “is controversial”.

They made it clear that they were only making observations. The researchers said that both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality. They claimed to have observed “minimal risk” at 50–55% carbohydrate intake.

Click here to read: Sat fat causes heart disease? PURE bollocks! 

They also claimed that low-carb dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality”. And that those favouring plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter and whole-grain breads were associated with lower mortality.

That led to predictably fevered media headlines claiming that “meat-heavy, low-carb diets can kill”. And that cutting back on bread and pasta could shorten people’s lives by up to four years.

A UK report in The Guardian said that it could look like years of scientific study finally proving “what common sense already knew: everything in moderation”. Of course, The Lancet study proves nothing of the sort. If anything at all, it proves that common sense isn’t common.

The same report made a detour into what Aristotle would have said about moderation. The author sensibly (to my mind) added the caveat that moderation is not that simple. And even common sense recognises that if “everything in moderation” is true then moderation “also has its limits”.

Conflicts of interest

If Oscar Wilde were around, he would have heartily endorsed that sentiment. Wilde once memorably advised: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Robust evidence for that is available. Britain’s NHS (National Health Service) GP Dr David Unwin has been using low-carb diets successfully for some years now to treat diabetic patients. He says that “telling diabetics to eat carbs moderately just leaves them moderately poisoned.”

Dr Aseem Malhotra

In media interviews, Malhotra says that anyone who tells people to eat everything in moderation is  “either ignorant or paid by the food industry”.

“Seek their conflicts and you’ll find them,”  he says.

The most effective approach for managing type 2 diabetes is cutting sugar and starch, Malhotra says. And when it comes to the evidence, a  systematic review of randomised trials reveals it: “Low-carb is best for blood glucose and cardiovascular risk factors in both short and long term.”

On Twitter, US psychiatrist and low-carb advocate Dr Georgia Ede has called The Lancet study “epidemi-illogical”. Studies of this type show a “complete disregard for mechanistic plausibility”, she says. That’s often to the point of “flying in the face of evolution, biochemistry, physiology, botany and common sense”.

She also noted that the researchers did not include or reference the questionnaire used in the ARIC study as a source of their data.

Weak science, strong personalities

It was left to that bulldog investigative reporter, US science writer Nina Teicholz, to find and make the questionnaire available. Teicholz is author of The Big Fat Surprise, Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. It’s a seminal work that many say changed the face of nutrition science and evidence forever – and for good.

Nina Teicholz

Former editor of The BMJ, Dr Richard Smith said that Teicholz did “a remarkable job in analysing the weak science, strong personalities and vested interests in political expediency” that have characterised nutrition science.

Critics say those elements are at work in The Lancet study.

Teicholz has said that The Lancet study is based on “weak epidemiological data that relies on self-reported data”. These data are notoriously unreliable and shown to be correct only 0-20% of the time.

Robot-like analysis of low-carb diets

Feinman has taken his usual forensic scientific scalpel to what he calls its “questionable style of bloodless, robot-like computer analysis and acceptance of low hazard ratios” involved.

Hazard ratio (HR) is a term researchers commonly use in medical literature when describing survival data. They don’t only use survival data to describe the number of people who survive or die over a period. Increasingly, they also use these data to describe how many people can reach “a certain point in time without experiencing a hazard or event other than death (for example, suffering a heart attack) “. Or conversely, to determine the number that do experience an event.

The HR in The Lancet study was typically below 1.5 that Feinman says makes it “uniquely absurd”. (Some scientists say that a hazard ratio of above 2 is the barest minimum required for any robust conclusions. Others set the bar far higher.)

Click here to read: Teicholz: How low-fat diets can kill you

The Lancet researchers have characterized subjects’ nutritional status on the basis of two food questionnaires separated by six years and an HR of 1.12. This further “violates standards of research integrity”, Feinman says.

He identifies another fatal flaw. The researchers have claimed that low-carb diets are dangerous without actually studying low-carb diets.

“You cannot say that low-carb diets are bad if you have not measured low-carbohydrate diets,” Feinman says. Low-carb diets are already well-established and “do not allow setting up your own straw-man”.

In addition, if you criticize diet or any theory, you are obligated to present the opposing point of view and explain what is wrong with them, he says.

Irresponsible global headlines

But the most likely “landmark” that makes this study fatally flawed is the claim “that low-carbohydrate diets are life-threatening”, Feinman says. The researchers have made it on the basis of “dreadful analysis”.

Dr Zoë Harcombe

British obesity and public health researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe says that the study has generated “irresponsible global headlines”. In an article on her website, Harcombe highlights the study flaws behind the headlines.

Epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes show no sign of abating, she says. Therefore, it is “unhelpful, to say the least,” to encourage consumption of at least half of one’s diet in the form of the one non-essential macronutrient (carbs).

One of the flaws she identifies is that the researchers have chosen groups for carb intake and consumption subjectively. “Not even the carb ranges are even,” she says.

Most groups covered a 10% range (eg 40-50%). However, the range chosen for the “optimal” group (50-55%) was just 5% wide, Harcombe says. This placed as many as 6,097 people in one group and as few as 315 in another.

Massaging data

Thus, the subjective group divisions introduced what Harcombe calls “the small comparator group issue.” She explained the dynamic in the recent whole grains review. Harcombe repeats and builds on the explanation because she says it’s crucial to understanding The Lancet paper:

She gives as an example: If 20 children go skiing – 2 of them with autism – and 2 children die in an avalanche – 1 with autism and 1 without – the death rate for the non-autistic children is 1 in 18 (5.5%).  And the death rate for the autistic children is 1 in 2 (50%).

This demonstrates “how bad (or good) you can make things look with a small comparator group”, Harcombe says.

Click here to read: Naudé review: mistake or mischief against Noakes?

She also explains how the researchers managed to move from subjective grouping to the sensational life-expectancy headlines. They applied a statistical technique (called Kaplan-Meier estimates) to the ARIC data. “This is entirely a statistical exercise,” Harcombe writes. After all,  we don’t know when people will die. “We just know how many have died so far.”

This exercise resulted in the researchers’ estimates of longevity improvements:  They write that they “estimated that a 50-year-old participant with intake of less than 30% of energy from carbohydrate would have a projected life expectancy of 29·1 years. That’s compared with 33·1 years for a participant who consumed 50–55% of energy from carbohydrate.

Similarly, they estimated that a 50-year-old participant with high-carbohydrate intake (>65% of energy from carbohydrate) would have a projected life expectancy of 32.0 years. That’s compared with 33.1 years for a participant who consumed 50–55% of energy from carbohydrate.

Making mischief

 In this way, Harcombe says that the researchers used the small comparator group extremes (<30% and >65%) to “make the reference group look better”. It’s an example of “the mischief you can make when you subjectively make up groups”.

She returns to the example of the skiing children: If we were to use the data we have so far (50% of autistic children died and 5.5% of non-autistic children died) and to extrapolate this out to predict survival, life expectancy for the autistic children “would look catastrophic”.

This, Harcombe says, is exactly what has happened with the small groups – <30% carb and >65% carb – in The Lancet study.

In other words, she says that the researchers have manipulated the data. And as any good scientist will tell you, that’s just not on.

It would help, Teicholz suggests, if the media would “stop reporting on these kinds of (sensationalist) findings”. Unfortunately, that’s about as likely as most health journalists no longer drawing breath.

Health News

Medical News Today: What are the benefits of maca root?

Maca is a Peruvian plant grown in the Andes mountains. It is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it is related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale.

Maca is a common ingredient in Peruvian cooking that gives dishes an earthy flavor. Maca root plant can be ground up into a powder and added to meals or smoothies.

Aside from its culinary uses, maca may also have several health benefits. This article will discuss 10 possible health benefits of maca root.

Ten benefits

There is a range of potential benefits of maca root, including:

1. Increasing libido

maca root
Studies suggest that maca root may help increase libido.

The most well-known benefit of maca root is its potential to increase libido. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim.

For example, an older study from 2002 found that men who took 1.5 or 3 grams (g) of maca per day experienced increased libido compared to those who received a placebo.

A 2010 review of studies on maca and sexual functioning found some evidence to suggest maca could improve libido, but the authors cautioned that more research is required.

A 2015 study found that maca root may help reduce sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women who were taking an antidepressant.

2. Reducing erectile dysfunction

Maca root could also have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction (ED). A small study in 2009 looked at the effect of consuming 2.4g of maca root per day for 12 weeks on participants' perception of their general and sexual well-being.

The study participants were males with mild ED. Those taking maca root experienced a more significant increase in sexual well-being than those taking a placebo.

3. Boosting energy and endurance

Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Some evidence exists to support this.

A pilot study in 2009 found that using maca extract for 14 days improved performance for male cyclists in a 40-kilometer time trial. However, the results were not significantly different from the improvement seen in those taking a placebo.

However, the same study found that maca extract improved libido in the participants who used it. However, the sample size of this study was very small, so more research is needed to confirm the results.

4. Increasing fertility

Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men.

A 2016 review found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. However, more research is needed.

5. Improving mood

Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study in 14 postmenopausal women found that maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Also, a 2015 study found that maca could reduce symptoms of depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.

6. Reducing blood pressure

It is possible that maca root can also help to improve blood pressure. The same 2015 study also found that 3.3g of maca per day for 12 weeks lowered blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.

7. Reducing sun damage

An older study in an animal model found that maca might help protect the skin from UV rays. Another animal study in 2011 found that extracts from maca leaves might help prevent the formation of sunburn cells.

8. Fighting free radicals

Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body. Some people believe antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

9. Reducing menopause symptoms

Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms.

One study found that postmenopausal women who took two daily tablets containing maca experienced reduced symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

10. Improving learning and memory

Maca root powder
Maca may help improve learning and memory perfromance.

There is some evidence to suggest that maca can improve learning and memory. For example, a 2011 study found that maca could improve memory in mice.

A 2014 review of the literature suggested that maca may have benefits for learning and memory performance. Researchers suggested that it could be helpful in treating conditions that affect these processes, such as Alzheimer's disease.

However, only research on animal models is currently available, so it is unclear whether maca will have the same benefits in humans.

Risks

Maca is not currently associated with any health risks in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses.

However, due to its effect on hormones, people with thyroid problems should avoid taking maca. It is also better to avoid taking maca when undergoing treatments that modify hormonal levels, such as treatments for breast cancer.

Takeaway

Maca has a range of potential health benefits, particularly for sexual health. However, the evidence behind these health benefits is weak, as many studies used small sample sizes or animal models.

Researchers need to carry out more large-scale studies in humans to determine if maca is effective. Although there are few health risks associated with taking maca, most people can try maca without experiencing any adverse side effects.

If a person is interested in trying maca root, they can find supplements in some natural food stores or online.

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Inspiration

How to motivate yourself to lose weight

How to motivate yourself to lose weight.

It can take many years until a person decidesto stop being obese.

After multiple battles with meals, diets,and habits acquired, there comes a time when the person abandon.

Resignation can be the starting point to analyzethe relationship with food and why, despite diets, the person does not become thin.

The key is to be prepared psychologicallyto lose those extra kilos.

The change is also mental.

1.

Know yourself.

Many people who want to lose weight deceivethemselves telling themselves that they are happy.

It may be so, but not in most cases.

You have to discover why the desired goalis not achieved.

3.

Make lists.

It is very important to have a clear ideaof what you want to achieve.

It is advisable to make a list of everythingthat you can not do because of obesity.

For example going to the pool, dancing, wearingthe clothes we like, change jobs, etc.

4.

Keep a food diary.

Write in a notebook everything that is eaten,for what reason, if there is hunger or not, and the hours when it is done.

After fifteen days you can give us very importantclues, sometimes surprising.

5.

Small achievements.

If you are able to stop eating bread, or snackingbetween meals.

It is about preparing the way before startingthe weight loss diet, and rewarding yourself for those little triumphs, buying a whim,going to the movies, etc.

Excluding food, of course!  6.

Write your fears.

There are certain types of personalities thatuse food to console themselves, to rebel, to demonstrate something.

analyzing ourown fears we can find the reasons for our obesity and overcome it.

(Source: https://www.

Blogdefarmacia.

Com/como-motivarse-para-perder-peso/) Please let us know your opinions in the commentssection below.

Don't forget to CLICK on the card on the topright of this video or the link in the description below and DOWNLOAD my FREE eBooks.

To learn more about How to motivate yourselfto lose weight, please SUBSCRIBE to this channel, SHARE this video with others, LIKE it, andDOWNLOAD the book FREE by clicking the link in the DESCRIPTION below.

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Weight Loss

Leg Day Workout Done At-Home (BODYWEIGHT ONLY!)

If it’s time for your next leg day workout and you’re ready to workout from home, this is perfect for you!

But after you do this workout, you need to make sure the rest of your workouts and your diet are taken care of. Use this free body type quiz to find out exactly how to get in shape faster and easier!

Leg workouts are far from hard to find. But the best leg workout can be a little more difficult to figure out.

This one is a bunch of bodyweight exercises that maintain optimal tension on your muscles. Also, this is extremely effective for getting the right amount of volume that your legs need to get stronger and firmer!

START HERE!

Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.

Take The Quiz

The Best Leg Day Workout

This leg day workout will consist of 5 different exercises. Each exercise will be performed for 3 sets of 15 reps with a one minute rest in between each set.

The Exercises

Squat Rocks

For this first exercise, you will start down in the bottom position of a squat. From there, you will remain as low as you can, while going forward and up on your toes. This should work your calves nicely. Then lower your heels back down to the ground. After your heels are back down, remain down in the squat position and shift your weight back on your heels and lift your toes off the ground. Then return your toes back to the ground and rock back and forth like this 15 times both ways. Then you will rest for one minute and repeat for 3 sets.

3 Point Lunges

Here, you will be doing a series of lunges in 3 different directions. So starting by standing up straight, you will first lunge forward.. Then bring your foot back in, without touching it back on the ground, you will immediately go into a side lunge with that same leg. Then bring it back in and without touching it to the ground, immediately go into a back lunge. Then witch legs and do this with the opposite leg. After you have worked your way all the way around, that will be one rep. Repeat for 15 reps total and rest for a minute. Then do it twice more and move into the next exercise.

Frog Pumps

This is a great exercise for the glutes and are very similar to glute bridges. You will start by laying on your back, then bring your feet in closer so your knees are similar to sit-up position. After that, you’ll bring your heels together so they are touching each other. Then drive your heels into the ground with your knees wider than your feet and bridge up as high as you can. Return your back back to about an inch off the ground and repeat for 15 reps.

4 Way Squat Hops

For this exercise, you are going to be doing squat hops in four directions. So standing up straight, you will go down into a squat, then hop up off the ground to your left side. Then immediately go into a squat and hop up and jump back to where you just came from. Then squat down and hop to the right. Squat down hop back to the middle again. Then rather than going back to the left, you will squat down and hop forward. Then squat down again and hop back to the middle. Then as the last direction, you’ll squat down and hop backwards. Then squat down and hop back to the middle again. This will equal one rep. Repeat this left, right, forward and backward method for 15 total reps then rest for a minute. Repeat two more times and move into the final exercise.

Alternating Single Leg RDL Hops

For the last exercise, you will start out by doing a single leg RDL. So starting off by balancing on one leg, you will bend forward, keeping a soft bend in your leg that on the ground, then bring your opposite leg going out behind you. Then tap your fingers to the ground and explode through your glutes and hamstrings to drive your back leg up and hop off the ground. Then after landing back on the ground, switch legs and do the exact same to the other side. Repeat for 15 reps with each leg. After you’ve done 15 reps, rest for a minute and repeat 2 more times.

Once all exercises are completed for 3 sets of 15 reps, you are done with the workout!

If you like this leg day workout, make sure you share it on your Facebook and feel free to leave any comments down below!

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