(PRWEB) July 31, 2004
ÂThere are numerous examples of low carbohydrate diets being more effective than low fat diets with the same number of calories. It doesnÂt always happen but it can happen,Â said Dr. Richard Feinman of the Department of Biochemistry. ÂThe nutritional establishment has been reluctant to accept this, because they say it violates the law of thermodynamics. However, they never seriously look at the thermodynamics, which not only says its possible, but it is to be expected.Â he added.
In their paper, Dr. Feinman and Dr. Eugene J. Fine explain that thermodynamics is as much about efficiency as it is about energy conservation. Carbohydrate is an efficient fuel, whereas protein is not. On a low carbohydrate/high protein diet, even though total energy is conserved, more energy is wasted as heat, a process known as thermogenesis. This energy comes from burning fat.
The researchers stress that Âthe human body is not a storage locker. It is a machine and the efficiency of the machine is controlled by hormones and enzymes. Carbohydrates increase insulin and other hormones that regulate enzymes, leading to storage rather than burning of fat.Â
ÂOf course, people are differentÂ said the authors, Âbut many people are sensitive to the effects of carbohydrates and for them, a low carb diet is going to work well.Â
The practical point is that getting rid of the idea that Âa calorie is a calorieÂ opens the door for serious research into what kind of diets will be most effective and which people will benefit most. ÂThis is important,Â they explain Âbecause millions of people
are seriously trying to lose weight on low carbohydrate diets, and instead of being given directions on the best way to do this, they have been largely discouraged by health professionals and self-appointed expert groups. The obesity epidemic is too important to allow this to happen.Â
Note to editors/reporters: You can read the entire scientific paper by going to http://www.nutritionj.com/home and clicking on ÂProvisional PDFÂ at the bottom of the headline.