Oftentimes, the way science is portrayed in the media can be a problem. Ideally, what we know about the world is built piece by piece, with lots of scientists checking and cross-checking each other until a pattern emerges. However, the media often chimes in on this study or that one and often influences public perception of an issue. It's important for us to understand the process of science so we can put the information we get in context.
When a news or media story comes out about research regarding diet, I often try to put it in context for my readers. Here are some of the stories I covered in 2010. Check here for less sciency low-carb blog posts.
January 17, 2010 - Time to Stop Being Afraid of Saturated Fat - A major study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reaches the conclusion that "there is no significant evidence...that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease".
January 27, 2010 - Low-Carb Diet Wins for Blood Pressure Reduction - Similar weight loss in the low-carb and low-fat groups, but guess which one lowered blood pressure more? And the low-fat group also had a weight loss medication included!
February 3, 2010 - Carbs After Exercise? Maybe Not - Low-carb meals after exercise enhanced insulin sensitivity (a good thing).
March 8, 2010 - Is There a Low-Carb Diet Gene? - Fascinating study where the genetic type strongly influenced the who lost weight on what diet.
April 1, 2010 - Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Carbohydrates - Great article on Slate about the science of all of this.
March 21, 2010 - Rational vs Emotional Eating - It's in Your Brain AND Hormones - A fascinating study showing that levels of certain hormones affect our experience of "emotional eating".
April 18, 2010 - 2010 Obesity Conference Report - Report from the 2010 Western Obesity Conference.
April 19, 2010 - Report from the 2010 Nutrition and Metabolism Conference - The latest research on low-carb diets, plus talks aimed at physicians interested in treating obesity and diabetes by reducing carbohydrate in the diet.
April 25, 2010 - Adding Sugar Adds to Heart Disease Risk - A big study in JAMA shows that sugar raises the risk of heart disease.
July 23, 2010 - Low-Carb Diets and Weight Training: Good or Bad? - Paul Rogers, About.com's Guide to Weight Training, discuss various sides of the science and issues around carbs and exercise, particularly weight training.
August 2, 2010 - Is Your Diet Depriving You of Nutrients? - People were put on several diets, and then their nutrient intake analyzed. Find out where the issues were for those on low-carb diets, and how to correct them.
August 16, 2010 - Low-Fat vs Low-Carb Diets - The latest diet comparison study, showing the same amount of weight loss for both groups over two years, but the low-carb group did better in terms of cholesterol.
August 19, 2010 - Notes on Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes A link to book notes on this tour-de-force book detailing how "we" (as a society) ame to believe that dietary fat is bad, and carbs are good.
August 29, 2010 - Does Red Meat Cause Colon Cancer? - An analysis of the best-done studies of the relationship between red meat and colon Cancer.
September 11, 2010 - Is Meat Killing Low-Carb Dieters? - Once again, the journalists writing about a diet study did not appear to have read it. This might very well include Dr. Dean Ornish. But Dr. Mehmet Oz was one of the few who was paying attention.
October 1, 2010 - Proposed Dietary Guidelines Sharply Debated - A paper is published in the journal Nutrition, calling into question the assumptions of the proposed Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
October 24, 2010 - CDC Predicts Huge Rise in Diabetes - Imagine one-third of the population with diabetes, with even more having pre-diabetes and its precursors. Are we going to wait until then to tell people it's a good idea to cut carbs?
November 1, 1010 - A Low-Carb Diet May Lengthen Your Life - A high-carb diet could be switching on genes that govern the processes which affect diabetes and obesity.
November 15, 2010 - Protect Your Health: Be Good to Your Beta-Cells - Did you know that even a relatively mild elevation in blood glucose can do damage to the beta-cells in your pancreas which produce insulin? The Endrocrine Society is trying to get the word out with a Consensus Statement of the science, and a Web site to eduction health care professionals.