July 1, 2010

health wednesday

(I'm a day late but oh, well.)  When discussing food around the table, I'm like a parrot.  "The only dietary pattern with good clinical data relating to meaningful endpoints is the Mediterranean diet."  Everything else is just hypothesis generating in my book.  The ADA (American Diabetes Association) is having its big annual meeting right now so lots of interesting stories are coming out about diabetes.  One in particular caught my eye.  The hot topic is to reduce carbs.  The more nuanced scientific question is, replace them with what?  It would seem to suggest that replacing carbohydrates with any old protein source is not the way prevent diabetes. An observational study of roughly 40,000 men found that men with low carb intake and high red and processed meats had a higher rate of progression towards diabetes.  Granted, this is an observational study but it drives home the point that just because something medically makes sense, doesn't mean it'll be true.  Glucose dysregulation causes diabetes.  Eat less glucose, get less diabetes.  It's more complicated than that.  The medical community and society at large went whole hog into the low fat territory and it simply did not reduce disease in any meaningful way.  Before we go off chasing our tail again, we should rely on data from meaningful clinical studies.  And right now, the Mediterranean diet is the best game in town.

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