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Once a lawyer always a lawyer

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Yesterday the press picked up on a new study highlighting yet again the benefits of following a low carb ketogenic diet.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/09/02/low-carb-reigns-over-low-fat-diet-for-weight-loss-heart-health/

For those well versed in low carb ketogenic diets there were simply no surprises So, why then do we find that SACN and other public bodies continue to recommend high carb diets and appear to ignore these studies which are so conclusive in their findings. Is this stupidity or malice or something else?

When you read the SACN Report on carbohydrates consumption and health the most obvious issue, apart from the clear conflicts of interest which we have all know about, is the fact that the Report does not deal with a proper definition of a low carbohydrate diet.  I suspect that this might be one of the problems which we currently face.

Low carbohydrate means many things to many people. For some it means eating less bread and for others it is first stage Atkins and of course they are worlds apart.  However there is one sure thing that a low carb diet is quite different from a ketogenic low carb diet.

Imagine how different the SACN report would have read if they had defined low carb and ketogenic low carb according to the Westman Feinman definition which was shared with me back in 2005.

Lower Carb – Anything less than 150grams per day – The average in take is close to 250g a day.

Low Carb – Less than 110grams per day – this is not going to trigger ketosis

Ketogenic Low Carb – Less than 60grams a day

We desperately need a definition along these lines so that when committees like SACN , in their ignorance,  decide to do a review of published studies on carbohydrate intake they can properly evaluate the different studies.

Unfortunately for the British public this was not done and if you then look at the “low carb” studies they reviewed it is easy to see how they would think that the benefits of low carb are not proven. Had they been forced to separate out the different standards they may have found their conclusions to be very different.

So what we need is a legal definition… but I would think that .. being a lawyer.

 

3 September 2014

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