Nutritional Research You Can Ignore

Have you ever done something and thought later ‘that didn’t make a lot of sense?’

Last week I did.

I was working on my laptop when I noticed the keys were sticking a little bit and there was quite a bit of dust built up on the keyboard.

Now before you all go and tell me how stupid I am for what I’m about to tell you, hear me out, alright?

Ok, so this is a little embarrasing…but anyways here it goes. I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and thought I would do a quick sweep of my laptop and get rid of all the dust and build up.

And it did a great job of that. As well as sucking up the ‘up arrow’ key. Yeah, that’s right. I sucked the key right off my keyboard.

After spending a little bit of time digging through the canister trying to retrieve this key I realized you can order them online for cheap. So, problem solved.

And what exactly does this have to do with a fitness blog?

Well, recently I was reading some nutritional research. And the results of the study at first sound like a good idea. But after a while you think about it some more and realize it’s not such a good idea after all. Kind of like vacuuming the keyboard of your laptop.

So what did this research paper find?

The researchers compared various levels of carb intake on energy content, nutritional quality and BMI data.

4 groups of subjects ate very low (less than 20% carb) through to high levels of carbs (more than 55% carb).

What they found

The high carb group was the most restrictive of calories. (No big surprise here as many who eat high carb will also eat low fat. Carbs have 4 cal/gram whereas fats have 9 cal/gram. As well carbs are a source of derived water which adds volume but no calories to meals.)

The high carb group ate more fruits & vegetables but less meat, fish &b poultry. (Good idea to eat more fruits/veggies but not at the expense of necessary protein or fats.)

The BMIs of the high carb group were lower. (BMI is a measure of your height & weight. A lower BMI means less mass. Whether this is a loss of lean (i.e. muscle) or fat mass is not known.)

While there are some interesting findings in this study it is not the approach I would recommend for those looking to lose weight or perform at a high level of sport.

Instead I would encourage our clients to eat protein and vegetables to their hearts content. Then based on goals and their physiology they may introduce fruits and whole grain carbohydrates.

Here’s the link for the article if you want to check it out:

So what’s the take home message:

1. Consider where the majority of the evidence is when it comes to research.

2. Are the results imporant?

There are more criteria to consider as well such as the sample size, methods used as well as who funded the research but for our purposes we can look at these 2 conditions to examine the merit of a paper.

Chris                                                                                                                                          ‘always moving forward’

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