Podcast – How Do Carbs Really Affect Your Health? with Dr. Alan Christianson
Description: Between the latest online fads and the crazy media headlines, it’s easier than ever to get confused about your health. If you want to make better decisions about your health today so you can feel better and live longer, you’ve come to the right place.
On this episode I want to address your fears about how carbohydrates really affect your health. Our understanding of energy balance has increased dramatically over the last decade, and I want to make sure that you have a solid understanding of the science-based information that is available today so that you can make the best decisions for your health. Carbs have been villainized for too long and I want to help you understand the dangers of eliminating any macronutrients from your diet.
If you are looking for ways to lose weight and be healthier and you just can’t decide between lowering your carb intake, lowering your fat intake, or lowering your overall food intake, you need to listen to the evidence I present in this episode. There is a clear answer to this question, and you may be surprised to learn that optimal health doesn’t actually come from any one of these options. I will walk you through a more intellectual approach to understanding scientific findings, review the results we have seen from low-carb diets, and offer my suggestions for an optimal and healthy diet. There is no agenda behind my stance on the benefits and dangers of eliminating carbs from your diet, I simply want you to make the best informed decision possible with the information that we know now.
[1:10] Today’s topic is carbohydrates — addressing your fears, your questions, and the misunderstandings we’ve all heard about this essential macronutrient.
[4:02] The three lines of evidence that you can examine to prove or disprove a claim include mechanisms, epidemiology, and intervention.
[6:09] Dr. C. breaks down the big phrases that are used to support the carbohydrate model, starting with misunderstandings about the model itself.
[10:15] Is there one essential carbohydrate? If not, can you afford to cut any carbs out of your diet? Consider the effects of getting higher than recommended doses essential nutrients.
[13:50] Dr. C. explains how the low-fat diet movement of the 80s never actually happened based on average intakes and percentages, and therefore how it never worked.
[16:05] Can you trick your body into losing weight by denying yourself any one macronutrient?
[17:53] A deeper look at populations of people with varying carbohydrate intake.
[20:31] Avoid confirmation bias by asking yourself if you are equally critical of studies that both for and against your stance.
[24:25] What evidence do we see in the health outcomes from low-carb diets? Controlling for protein is the most essential of the three macronutrients.
[29:10] A look at the studies that support our need to reject the no-carb hypothesis, as well as the benefit of embracing a variety of fiber in the diet for optimal weight and gut health.
[31:41] Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover? Contact me on Facebook or Instagram using #medicalmyths.
To learn more:
“I have no vested interest in this topic except figuring out what’s most effective for our mortality, our weight, and our disease risk.” — Dr. Christianson
“When we go deep into biochemistry we see that insulin is not the hub of energy metabolism.” — Dr. Christianson
“There are optimal intakes of nutrients that go beyond just meeting the bare minimum requirements. Once you recognize that, you have to throw out the argument that you can go without carbs.” — Dr. Christianson
“Once you control for protein there’s no evidence for substituting carbs for fat in body weight. One is not better than the other.” — Dr. Christianson
“The idea that carbohydrate uniquely causes weight gain and negative health outcomes was a hypothesis a while back, but it just didn’t pan out.” — Dr. Christianson