Here We Go Again

There it was, in my Google News Alert: Simply Eating Less Fat May Cut Diabetes Risk. "Uh-huh," I thought, "Sure it can. Let's see what this one has to say."

This one is in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It involved 69 overweight people "at risk" for diabetes on diets that involved "only a small reduction" in either fat or carbohydrate intake. I'll say it was small -- the "low carb" group -- and I use the term loosely -- was getting 43% of calories from carbohydrate. If a participant was getting, say, 1800 calories per day, that's 774 calories from carb, or 193 grams. Sheesh, I don't get that in a week.

The "low carb group" was getting only 39% of calories from fat, while I try to get 75%. That leaves 18% of calories from protein, or 81 grams -- in the ball park, at any rate, though I usually get more. Of course, I'm eating a lot less carb.

The low fat group, by contrast, got 27% fat and 55% carbohydrate, leaving, interestingly enough, the same 18% of calories for protein, which is a touch I respect. The study went for 8 weeks.

So we know that this study says nothing about actual low carb diets and their efficacy or lack thereof for preventing or treating diabetes. No one was on a low carb diet, so no conclusion can be drawn about them, though that's not what the article I got said.

But the thing that really interested me was that one of the changes assumed to be positive in the low fat group was "increased insulin secretion." Well, gosh, I'm shocked! You eat more carbs and as a result secrete more insulin? Wow, who'da thunk it? The amazing thing is that this is presented as a benefit, as if hyperinsulinemia wasn't profoundly dangerous.

The article that came with my Google News Alert also quoted one of the study's authors as saying that the low fat group "tended to have higher insulin sensitivity." Which might be nice, if it were true. But I found the actual medical journal article, which stated right in the title: Dietary macronutrient composition affects ? cell responsiveness but not insulin sensitivity. So somebody is fudging the truth a tad, no?

What is it that Tom Naughton keeps saying about scientists being freakin' liars?