Do Carbohydrates Make You Fat? No (and this story confirms it)

Do Carbohydrates Make You Fat? No (and this story confirms it)

Do you remember Gary Taubes ? The science journalist who is also known in Italy for his books (“Why you become fat”) in which he claims that calories are not all the same, and that carbohydrates make you fat. His latest literary effort is in fact the book ” Against sugar “, a book in which Taubes states that sugar (intended not only as food, but in general all sugars, therefore also carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and rice) is our worst enemy of health .

Yet, the very story of Gary Taubes teaches us the opposite : that what matters is how much we eat, and that it is not true that carbohydrates make you fat.
For years, Taubes has been co-founder (currently the only founder) of a non-profit company, NuSI , which has lost 40 million dollars in an attempt to find serious and irrefutable scientific confirmation to the thesis that the cause of obesity is sugar. . And that body fat occurs when insulin kicks in following a high-sugar meal (insulin hypothesis).

Not only that: according to Taubes, without carbohydrates the metabolism would increase, so there would be no need to cut calories to lose weight, but only to eliminate carbohydrates and eat only fats and moderately proteins. In short: low carb diets would have a metabolic advantage over a normal low-calorie diet according to the journalist. 

The result is that NuSI funded 4 studies conducted by the best researchers in the world: and none of these studies, in which groups of obese patients were first subjected to a normocaloric diet rich in sugars and fats like the typical American one and then subjected to a no-carb or no-fat diet to see the differences in weight loss produced the results Taubes and his investors were hoping for . NuSI in Taubes had set itself the goal of reducing diabetes cases in the United States by 75% and obesity cases by half by 2025. This has been since 2012.

Taubes has repeatedly said his company would ensure transparency and strict quality controls in studies that would eventually uncover the cause of obesity. But, in addition to having been abandoned by his investors for lack of results over the years, and by the co-founder Peter Attia, he was also accused by the same researchers of having tried to control and manipulate the data of the study , trying to influence them in order to get to confirmation of his thesis against sugar.

In particular, in the first study he would have suggested to Dr. Kevin Hall, head of the research, to give the group of obese in the sample more sugary drinks in the pilot phase , regardless of whether they had to follow a diet in accordance with their daily calories. This would make it easier for them to lose weight on the no-carbohydrate diet phase.
Thanks to the fife, I would say.

Dr. Hall would have refused, and his intact study would have in fact disproved the idea that carbohydrates are the cause of being overweight ( you can read it here ). The people sampled lost weight on both a carb-free and a fat-free diet. The important thing was to keep the calories in check.

The other three studies had a similar outcome to the first, although only two have been published to date.
Investors from NuSI (a couple of gas magnates) have abandoned the project, and now Gary Taubes is looking for financiers to raise $ 120 million for further study. The NuSi headquarters no longer exists, the first collaborators would have been replaced by volunteers. This despite the flood of money already spent to find scientific confirmation of something that has never been proven so far.
Indeed, if anything, the opposite has been proven.That is, it is difficult for carbohydrates to convert into body fat (de novo lipogenesis), while it is easier for fats to be stored in body fat reserves. This of course if you eat too much. Calories have also been shown to count . As long as you eat for your calorie needs, you don’t get fat.

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