Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Healthy Weight Does Not a Healthy Person Make

You might have seen the CNN article yesterday about the human nutrition professor who lost 27 pounds in two months while subsisting on a diet mostly made up of Twinkies, Little Debbies, Doritos, Oreos, and the like.

He wanted to prove that what matters most in losing weight is calorie-counting, not nutrition. And when it comes to the markers society traditionally uses to measure health, this "convenience store diet" was a real winner: his body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent, his "bad" cholesterol dropped 20 percent, his "good" cholesterol increased 20 percent, and triglycerides level decreased by 39 percent.

The professor questions, "What does that mean? Does that mean I'm healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we're missing something?", and I'd tend to agree, especially after these past few years of reading low-carb research. I know I can lose weight on a low-fat, high-carb diet, but I don't think the constant sugar high is good for my long-term health. And I'm positive I could never sustain a low-calorie diet, especially one centered entirely on sugar.

At least the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet, as counter-intuitive as it seems, has a couple of lower-carb options; the creator of the Belly Fat Cure recommends 3 crunchy tacos (at 39 carbs total) for an easy meal option.

And those tacos will keep you full for hours, unlike the blood-sugar-spiking Twinkies, which must have left the professor starving half the time.