<Unedited Rant Warning :)> The BMJ recently gave science a bad name reporting online that avoiding an extremely high-carbohydrate diet increases heart disease risk. Thankfully, we’ll likely avoid another Ancel Keys-esque “get data from 22 countries and only report the 6 that support your preconceived notions” as other researchers are already publically pointing out the flagrant flaw in the BMJ researchers’ conclusions.
Quoting the BMJ researchers in regards to avoiding an extremely high-carb diet: “…implies low consumption of whole-grain foods, fruits, and starchy vegetables and consequently reduced intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A high protein diet may indicate higher intake of red and processed meat and thus higher intake of iron, cholesterol, and saturated fat.”
Can you see the massive flawed assumption there? Assumption: Increasing protein intake above the poultry (10%…pun intended 🙂 ) recommended by politicians means that *you have to* reduce your intake of fiber, vitamins, and mineral.
Couldn’t we *increase* our intake of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits while eating a more natural and balanced diet? Of course. Go SANE. Eat so many non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, natural fats, and berries/citrus, that you are too full for hormonally-harmful and nutritionally-neutered starches and sweets.
This study should have concluded: Replacing SANE high-quality food with inSANE low-quality food increases disease risk. And of course that’s true. But I guess that’s not headline worthy enough.
Any diet that reduces the intake of fiber, vitamins, and mineral is inSANE and should be avoided. However, a diet with those characteristics is most often high in starches and sweets (aka higher low-quality carb) not high in protein.
The fact is that an absurd number of studies have shown that avoiding an imbalanced and unnatural extremely high-carb diet by eating more high-quality SANE proteins and fats improves health and body fat levels dramatically. One example is the Nurses’ Health Study, a longitudinal study of 82,802 women who have been followed since 1976. Hundreds of others are available in The Smarter Science of Slim. (more on fat here…more on protein coming in the next few months)
Bottom Line: There are high-quality SANE proteins, high-quality SANE carbs, and high-quality SANE fats, long-terms health and fitness is achieved by eating more high-quality food so that we’re too full for low-quality inSANE food. No sensationalized headlines need. No polarization needed. Just a bit of common sense backed by a massive meta-analysis.