Monday, October 15, 2007

How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

Good article about cascade phenomena in decision making as an explanation for the low fat fad diet. Found this in the comments and found it interesting.
This Dr. Phinney is apparently and expert on the paleodiet and paleofitness.


Cascade Candidate: That Nature is linear.

If one can show that 30% fat in the diet is bad, and that 40% is worse, then it is simple to conclude that eating 70% or 80% of one’s dietary energy as fat must be instantly fatal. Assuming 15-20% dietary protein, once a human gets above 70% fat, one goes into nutritional ketosis (as distinguished from keto-acidosis). After 2-3 weeks of keto-adaptation, fats become the prefered human fuel, allowing unimpaired endurance and even high intensity human performance (see Metabolism 32:769-76).

The keto-adapted individual also has lower serum triglycerides and a reduced percentage of saturated fats in the serum triglyceride fraction. This appears to be due to the accelerated use of saturates as fuel in the low insulin, ketoadapted state. Thus dietary intake of saturated fats becomes a non-issue.

Nutritional ketosis is also associated with a reduced level of inflammation (data pending publication). This stands in opposition to the result of a single “high fat” (eg, 40-50% fat) meal. We now know that inflammation causes heart disease as much or more than cholesterol, and a fat-based ketogenic diet results in lower inflammatory biomarkers that a high carb diet.

The bottom line: Nature is not linear, and those who extrapolate beyond published experience do so at their own risk.

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— Posted by Steve Phinney, MD, PhD

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