How Carbs can Trigger Food Cravings

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mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 549

      quote  
Posted: 25 Jul 2013, 16:18
An interesting article....

Are all calories created equal? A new study suggests that in at least one important way, they may not be.

Sugary foods and drinks, white bread and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar appear to stimulate parts of the brain involved in hunger, craving and reward, the new research shows. The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that these so-called high-glycemic foods influence the brain in a way that might drive some people to overeat.

For those who are particularly susceptible to these effects, avoiding refined carbohydrates might reduce urges and potentially help control weight, said Dr. David Ludwig, the lead author of the study and the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“This research suggests that based on their effects on brain metabolism, all calories are not alike,” he said. “Not everybody who eats processed carbohydrates develops uncontrollable food cravings. But for the person who has been struggling with weight in our modern food environment and unable to control their cravings, limiting refined carbohydrate may be a logical first step.”

Regardless of the diet they choose, most people who lose a great deal of weight have a difficult time keeping it off for good. For many people, despite their best efforts, the weight returns within six months to a year. But a few studies of weight loss maintenance, including a large one in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2010, have reported some success with diets that limit high-glycemic foods like bagels, white rice, juice and soda.

In addition to raising blood sugar, foods that are sugary and highly caloric elicit pronounced responses in distinct areas of the brain involved in reward. Earlier imaging studies have shown, for example, that the main reward and pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens, lights up more intensely for a slice of chocolate cake than for blander foods like vegetables, and the activation tends to be greater in the brains of obese people than it is in those who are lean.

But do rich desserts have a select ability to change our longer-term eating habits?

To get a better idea, Dr. Ludwig and his colleagues recruited a dozen obese men and then fed them milkshakes on two different occasions separated by several weeks. In each case, the milkshakes were nearly identical: flavored with milk and vanilla, and containing the same amount of calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat.

But on one occasion, the shakes were made with high-glycemic corn syrup; on the other, a source of low-glycemic carbohydrates was used. “These test meals were identical in appearance and tastiness, and we verified that our subjects had no preference for one or the other,” Dr. Ludwig said.

As expected, blood sugar levels rose more quickly in response to the high-glycemic milkshake. But the researchers were especially interested in what happened several hours later, about the time most people are ready for their next meal.

What they found was that four hours after drinking the high-glycemic shake, blood sugar levels had plummeted into the hypoglycemic range, the subjects reported more hunger, and brain scans showed greater activation in parts of the brain that regulate cravings, reward and addictive behaviors. Although the subject pool was small, every subject showed the same response, and the differences in blood flow to these regions of the brain between the two conditions “was quite substantial,” Dr. Ludwig said.

“Based on the strength and consistency of the response,” he added, “the likelihood that this was due to chance was less than one in a thousand.”

Previous research suggests that when blood sugar levels plummet, people have a tendency to seek out foods that can restore it quickly, and this may set up a cycle of overeating driven by high-glycemic foods, Dr. Ludwig said. “It makes sense that the brain would direct us to foods that would rescue blood sugar,” he said. “That’s a normal protective mechanism.”

Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist at Stanford University who was not involved in the new study, said that after decades of research but little success in fighting obesity, “it has been disappointing that the message being communicated to the American public has been boiled down to ‘eat less and exercise more.’”

“An underlying assumption of the ‘eat less’ portion of that message has been ‘a calorie is a calorie,’” he said. But the new research “sheds light on the strong plausibility that it isn’t just the amount of food we are eating, but also the type.”

Dr. Gardner said it was clear that the conventional approach of the past few decades was not working. A more helpful message than “eat less,” he said, may be “eat less refined carbohydrates and more whole foods.”

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/how-carbs-can-trigger-food-cravings/?ref=nutrition&_r=0
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
Ruhu

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 545

      quote  
Posted: 25 Jul 2013, 16:38
Great article! I'm one of those who definitely have increased cravings & hunger after blood sugar spikes. Thanks for sharing!
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
FullaBella

Joined: Oct 12
Posts: 1,026

      quote  
Posted: 25 Jul 2013, 19:18
So...you're saying... its not all in my head??


I'm not losing WEIGHT. I'm converting FAT to MUSCLE to be healthier.
onedaat

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 326

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 01:24
There are some good comments at the article home. Here is one I appreciate.

Quote:
This information has been known for decades. The problem is really political. Doctors wouldn't dare offend Big Food by suggesting that carbs are responsible for our obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemics. Example: Why is it that the American Diabetes Assn. continues to recommend a diet of 50-60% carbs (the old Food Pyramid advice) for diabetics and nondiabetics alike? You need only look at their annual report to see the large contributions made by food and beverage corporations. This is why we continue to be told that "eat less and exercise more" is the ideal way to lose weight. Of course this advice doesn't work, but the industries that are really responsible for obesity get off the hook -- and the blame is placed on the patient for being lazy and gluttonous. If you want to see how Big Food engineers its products to create craving and cause overeating, read the new book, Salt, Sugar and Fat by Michael Moss. It is a chilling account. Meanwhile, obesity is now an official "disease" subject to remimbursable drug treatment and surgery. And Big Medicine is content with the status quo because obesity-linked diseases are good for business. Given the financial clout of Big Food and Big Medicine, this situation isn't likely to change very soon. Jim Healthy



I think it is absolutely disgusting how much the American Dietician Association is in bed with Big Food. Coke and Pepsi are some of their biggest sponsors. If you haven't read it you might want to check out Michele Simon’s report on food company sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it's titled "And Now a Word From Our Sponsors."

http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/AND_Corporate_Sponsorship_Report.pdf
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"It is in vain to speak of cures, or think of remedies, until such time as we have considered the causes . . . cures must be imperfect, lame, and to no purpose, wherein the causes have not first been searched.”

- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

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If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. - Mark Twain

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mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 549

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 11:21
Onedaat, to piggy back on your post, I think many fitness guru's who make a boat load of money won't tell anyone the real secret to losing weight either. They are probably are the biggest voices behind bashing anyone saying that it's also about what you eat, not how much. Cause let's face it, that doesn't sell all their exercise videos and supplements/magic pills.
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:04
mrspackrat wrote:
Onedaat, to piggy back on your post, I think many fitness guru's who make a boat load of money won't tell anyone the real secret to losing weight either. They are probably are the biggest voices behind bashing anyone saying that it's also about what you eat, not how much. Cause let's face it, that doesn't sell all their exercise videos and supplements/magic pills.


You must not know many fitness gurus, because peddling misinformation and promoting the most unnecessarily restrictive dietary regimens is the industry's stock in trade. There is a small minority of trainers and actual fitness nutrition experts pushing back against this exploitative cottage industry, using published research, but for the most part, "fitness gurus" are ground zero for restrictive nutritional regimens.

Supplements go hand in hand with the orthorexic/restrictive nutrition dogma - the idea that a balanced, diverse diet without restrictions or special exogenous supplements to support claims of metabolic magic, is anathema to this industry.

Fitness and bodybuilding are breeding grounds for eating disorders. Tell a fitness enthusiast that Food X or Macronutrient Y is hazardous to their health or body composition, and many of them will never touch it again...regardless of how little evidentiary support there is for the claim. The "flexible eating" movement is in part a pushback to this unhealthy mindset, by discouraging obsessive concern with individual foods and macro/micronutrients.

When the "fitness enthusiasts" here argue against diets that restrict entire macronutrients (or, more accurately, argue that such diets are not physically mandatory or categorically more effective than the alternatives), they are usually doing so because they are familiar with an environment where those sorts of claims have contributed to a population rife with body image and eating disorders.
Many amateur bodybuilders used to wake themselves up in the middle of the night every few hours to ingest protein, because the conventional wisdom said they were risking muscle catabolism if they didn't. It has taken years of evidence-supported argument to push back against this myth, which was quite literally ruining some people's lives.

The flexible approach to WHAT is eaten as well as WHEN it is eaten is all part of the same pushback. Unfortunately, it is a decidedly small minority of the fitness community...because there is no profit in telling people they can meet their nutritional needs and body composition goals without expensive supplements, without militarily-regimented meal timing, without Byzantine rules about which foods are "good" or "clean" and which "dirty" or "bad," and without avoiding entire macronutrients, whether it's fat (in the 80s and 90s) or carbohydrate (00s).
reddarin

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 959

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:38
Nimm wrote:
The flexible approach to WHAT is eaten as well as WHEN it is eaten is all part of the same pushback. Unfortunately, it is a decidedly small minority of the fitness community...because there is no profit in telling people they can meet their nutritional needs and body composition goals without expensive supplements, without militarily-regimented meal timing, without Byzantine rules about which foods are "good" or "clean" and which "dirty" or "bad," and without avoiding entire macronutrients, whether it's fat (in the 80s and 90s) or carbohydrate (00s).


What?!?

You are misremembering history. 'Well balanced' is not a new idea. It has been around for decades. The whole idea behind the awful obesity creating food pyramid was to ensure a 'healthy' well balanced diet for Americans.

The quirky, sometimes harmful, boutique eating extremes are a *response* to the blatantly glaring failure of ELMM WB not the other way around.

I remember as a kid in the 70's seeing public service commercials about 'moving more' while watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. I actually remember one in particular about stretching so you could run faster.

P.S. LC is a fantastic tool that obesity doctors use to solve obesity problems because it addresses metabolic issues that allow a fat person to create a calorie deficit. But that was a cool dig at us.
Nag1ka

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 101

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 12:55
reddarin wrote:

I remember as a kid in the 70's seeing public service commercials about 'moving more' while watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. I actually remember one in particular about stretching so you could run faster.


I hope you're aware that the whole "moving more" was to encourage activity. Any. Even with the recommended 30 mins per day, it's well below what the government thinks people should be doing. They're scared if they tell everyone to go workout for 1.5hrs every day, no one will even try.

Whats the alternative? Anything is better than nothing.
mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 549

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 13:29
Nimm, in your ramblings you lost me, sounds like we agree??
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 13:51
If you are claiming that fitness gurus are selling their supplements and services by downplaying or ignoring the quality or composition of diet while focusing exclusively on the quantity of energy consumed, then no, I could not disagree more strongly. The entire industry is founded on the opposite premise - i.e., the more complicated nutrition and health regimens are, the better. Simplicity is anathema to them, because complexity creates a need for their (in fact unnecessary) advice.

If that's not what you're saying, then I misunderstood.

Also, "ramblings" is unduly pejorative.
Nag1ka

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 101

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 14:35
reddarin wrote:

Right. The problem is that the data does not support the move more dogma.


So, actually, you have it wrong. Anything is not better than nothing.

Smile


So what your saying is, nothing is better than anything.

I would lose more weight sitting on my couch than going for a walk?
Diablo360x

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 797

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 14:48
Poor Red. Lol.
Love your food or risk failure. No quick fixes, this is a lifestyle change. No extremes are needed just consistency.
Nag1ka

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 101

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 14:56
reddarin wrote:


Right. The problem is that the data does not support the move more dogma. This is from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association report on Physical Activity and Public Health : Updated Recommendation for Adults.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/116/9/1081.full.pdf

Heading: Obesity, Gaining, and Losing Weight
Quote:
It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling (57)


So, actually, you have it wrong. Anything is not better than nothing.

Smile




Heading: Obesity, Gaining, and Losing Weight

Quote:
Rapidly increasing rates of obesity reflect a lack of energy balance as larger numbers of people are consistently expending fewer calories than they consume



From your article itself, but wait, its not calories fault, its carbs right?
Diablo360x

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 797

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 15:13
Calories are irrelevant on LC diets Nag1ka! lol
Love your food or risk failure. No quick fixes, this is a lifestyle change. No extremes are needed just consistency.
reddarin

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 959

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 15:43
Nag1ka wrote:
reddarin wrote:


Right. The problem is that the data does not support the move more dogma. This is from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association report on Physical Activity and Public Health : Updated Recommendation for Adults.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/116/9/1081.full.pdf

Heading: Obesity, Gaining, and Losing Weight
Quote:
It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling (57)


So, actually, you have it wrong. Anything is not better than nothing.

Smile




Heading: Obesity, Gaining, and Losing Weight

Quote:
Rapidly increasing rates of obesity reflect a lack of energy balance as larger numbers of people are consistently expending fewer calories than they consume



From your article itself, but wait, its not calories fault, its carbs right?


I refer you back to their own admission that the data does not support their subsequent assertion about caloric expenditure and obesity.

And please keep the reddarin specific stuff on my thermodynamics thread. I do not want a repeat of the stuff that happened on P&B's thread.
reddarin

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 959

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 15:53
Nag1ka wrote:
reddarin wrote:

Right. The problem is that the data does not support the move more dogma.


So, actually, you have it wrong. Anything is not better than nothing.

Smile


So what your saying is, nothing is better than anything.

I would lose more weight sitting on my couch than going for a walk?


No sir. I am merely quoting what the AHA and Sports Medicine reported. The data does not support the assertion that a higher caloric expenditure will prevent weight gain.
mummydee

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 2,064

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 15:59
Why does everyone look on the Surgeon General and the ridiculous Pyramid of what to eat as 'the ultimate word'? They are in bed with the food companies that are out there poisoning for a profit. There are so many documentaries regarding this subject is terrifying. One comment i will never forget was an interview with an executive officer from 7 up, or coke, who said, if you can get them hooked by 2 , we'll have them for life and the add showed a baby with a 7 up bottle and a nipple drinking it! this was the 60's.. they may have become more sophisticated in their approach these days but the food industry / government / FDA are all in bed together and it for one reason $$$$$
mummydee

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 2,064

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 16:01
and p.s., very good post Mrspackrat... appreciated!
Nag1ka

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 101

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 16:13
reddarin wrote:
Nag1ka wrote:
reddarin wrote:

Right. The problem is that the data does not support the move more dogma.


So, actually, you have it wrong. Anything is not better than nothing.

Smile


So what your saying is, nothing is better than anything.

I would lose more weight sitting on my couch than going for a walk?


No sir. I am merely quoting what the AHA and Sports Medicine reported. The data does not support the assertion that a higher caloric expenditure will prevent weight gain.


So when I say anything (I'm referring to exercise) would be better than nothing..

And your response is, its not..


Are you trying to say that going for a walk would produce 0 benefit?
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

      quote  
Posted: 26 Jul 2013, 16:13
Physical activity requires energy expenditure. Greater total energy expenditure can and will lead to a reduction in body mass if it causes an energy deficit.

And yet, the research review discussed above recognizes this fact, but also says that exercise is not conducive to fat loss.

These are both correct.

See, e.g.,: Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss.

In this controlled experiment, subjects had comparable energy deficits from diet alone, or from a combination diet and exercise (group 2 eating more than group 1, but also exercising more). The groups lost comparable amounts of weight. If exercise increases an energy deficit, more mass will be lost.

But in the real world where people are not obsessive about weight loss, exercise does not have a huge effect (ignoring health, mood, and body composition for now). This is easily explained - most people greatly overestimate the amount of energy expended through exercise, and will often overcompensate for the energy spent either by overconsuming elsewhere ('I spent an hour at the gym, so I will have an extra serving' ) or being less active during the non-exercise hours.

Coincidentally, small changes in non-exercise activity throughout the day can add up to significant energy expenditure over 24 hours. The energy spent during an hour in the gym can, without much trouble, be offset by a few extra hours of less active behavior afterwards.

Controlled studies show that exercise can cause fat loss, and free living studies show us that out in the real world, it doesn't end up contributing much. Both claims are correct.

Of course, there are still health and body composition benefits to be had from exercise, regardless of the effect upon mass.





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