martedì 29 novembre 2011

Nutritional Fanaticism I: Extreme Low Carbers (part 2)

scientology.jpg In the first part of the low carb series, we looked at the sensible vs. cultish low carb practitioners and examined some of the logical fallacies behind some of the extreme low carb arguments.

In this segment, we'll take a look at some specific sites that (in my opinion) are both sensible and those that are narrow-mindedly carbaphobic and/or fanatical in nature.

The following sites, in my opinion are very good, science-driven even-handed resources for not only low carbers but those who are interested in healthy living in general.

Carbsane: For my money the most scientifically complete blog on the planet when it comes to debunking the dogmatism of extreme low carb-dom. Very scienc-y but excellent insights and commentary.Mr. Low Body Fat: When Muata Kamdibe has something to say, he has my full attention - every time. He is someone who has been in the trenches - undergoing a very impressive transformation through a low carb approach who hasn't drunk the kool-aide.Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic: An alphabet-soup list of academic credentials and can probably lift more than you. I've always appreciated Cassandra's take on matters of nutrition and training.Anthony Colpo: AC is smarter than you are. The author of "The Great Cholesterol Con" and "The Fat Loss Bible", he is often criticized for his less-than-friendly demeanour but he backs up everything he says with airtight science.

The following sites, in my opinion are extremist and/or skewed/editorialized to fit an agenda or preconceived idea.

Livin' La Vida Low Carb: Jimmy Moore. Once a respectable site in my opinion, Jimmy (who by all accounts seems a very pleasant individual) and his site have spiralled into a delusional realm that is far more preoccupied with launching a low carb empire and spreading the gospel of extreme low carb than bringing about the balance of truth. While I respect that Jimmy has guests on his podcasts that don't fully conform to extreme low carb, any message that doesn't fall in line with the extremists is brushed aside and ridiculed by the followers. Fred Hahn's Slow Burn: A double-whammy of narrow-minded dietary and fitness information. Essentially if you're not into really low carb and really slow training, you don't know science. Avoid at all costs.Zoe Harcombe: While eating "real food" is a good idea, spreading nonsense and misinformation about why people gain and lose weight is not. Oh, and dissenting opinions will not be tolerated on her message boards. Weston Price Foundation: This site has "agenda-driven" written all over it. Cherry-picked information, mistruths and half truths abound and the cast majority of their articles are non causa pro causa fallcies. Active Low Carber Forums: You either subscribe to a very low carb philosophy, or face the wrath of the edgy low carbers. Prominent nutrition and exercise researcher James Krieger was unceramoniously booted off this site for no reason at all.Dr. Michael Eades: Eades was an individual I used to respect greatly. His blog is very thorough and his writing oozes with intellect. Read between the lines, however and it becomes evident (from my perspective) that he has the bias and ego to match the intelligence. He shows a condescending attitude towards those who disagree and will take on easy targets and ignore those who legitimately call him on his woo. Mark's Daily Apple Forum: Mark Sisson is a very smart and VERY fit guy with a massive following. His articles (although Paleo-centric) are well thought out and he doesn't have the demeanor of a cult leader . Visit his forums however and the Paleo-centricity is over-the-top and VERY cultish.

If you have a couple of spare weeks on your hands, here are some of the more compelling debates of the extreme low carb camps vs. the middle ground folks. I think the most important thing about these discussions is to see them as an opportunity to learn something.

Low carb can be a very safe and effective approach to fat loss and managing blood sugar. There is no need, however for most people to be overly restrictive of carbohydrates. Of course individual differences must be taken into account when choosing the best dietary approach and for some, lower carb (and even much lower carb) are both effective and palatable. There is no noticeable health or fat loss advantage to eating moderate carbs to very little carbs, however in longer term studies. In fact, eating a less restrictive diet is much better for long-term success.

Any thoughts as to which sites should be included/excluded to this list or additional suggestions?

Image Credit: flickr/drbertdelgado

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