Anyone see the BBC documentary on the Atkins diet? (fat does not promote satiety protein does)

Answered on September 17, 2014
Created September 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Has anyone seen the panorama documentary on the atkins?

 They concluded after giving people food until they were full as much as they could eat. They put fat lots of added fats in certain groups pf peoples food and not the other. Every time the people eating the on ewith more fat found it took much more to make them feel full.


 Basically they concluded it was not carbohydrate or anything else other than the fact the atkins forces you to eat more protein and thus make you fuller while also self regulating how many calories people could take in until they were full.


 I guess my question is why do so many VLC paleo people claim fat keeps you feeling full when it seems most evidence points against it and why do people claim carbohydrates and not calories have to do with weight loss or gain?


I have just started paleo and my carbs are high but my calories are low enough for me to lose weight. I would be classed as metabolically broken so why is callorie control (not obsessive counting) working for me while eating potato and fruit and getting lowish to medium ammounts of fat?



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4 Answers



on September 17, 2014
at 12:33 PM

Satiety is an individual thing. Some people are sated best by carbs and fiber. Others by fat. Others by protein. 

It sounds like they added fat to carbs and expected that to be sating. That's not how it works, fat + carbs is a well known strategy for getting calories in. Eating a baked potato plain versus baked potato with butter and sour cream? Most folks won't make it past a few bites of the plain baked potato before quitting, downing the whole potato with butter. 




on September 17, 2014
at 10:31 AM

No, I haven't seen it, but I call horseshit.  You can easily disprove this yourself.  Go on a fast.  Whenever you feel hungry ingest a teaspoon of MCT oil, or a slice of Kerrygold.  You'll find yourself unable to look at food with any interest at all for many hours.


It is true that protein is far more satiating than carbs, and certainly complex carbs in their natural form are far more satiating that food-like-products in a box or bag that are designed to be addictive and non-satiating. 


You can lose fat on most any diet, even one composed of nothing but Twikies.  But some diets require far more will power than others.  A potato, while high in carbs is still mostly water, and doesn't digest too quickly, so you do feel full.  Doesn't mean you get all the nutrients you need for the long term, but for the short term it's fine.


Some people have more copies of the AMY1 gene and thus produce more amylase in their saliva.  These folks stay skinny on a high(er) carb diet, where as those with few copies of AMY1 will quickly become obese when they eat the same amount of carbs.



It's also true that good quality fats, and meats are far more expensive than the low end filler that's used for these food like products.  For example, the ingredients breakfast cereals made from corn, soy, and/or wheat less expensive than the cardboard box they ship in and the amount of money spent on advertising them.  You pay 10x-50x the cost of those ingredients when you buy a box of the stuff.  So the difference translates into pure profit for the manufacturer who has a vested interest in selling you the lowest quality product at the highest price possible.  They can get away with this because they load them up with low quality sugars, artificial and natural flavoring and colors to make them palatable.  And by making them non-satiating and addictive, it translates to even more profit.


There's far less profit in a baked potato, which despite the high carb count is a real, whole food, than that box of cookies, or cereal.



on September 17, 2014
at 02:07 PM

There is a lot more to satiety than macros.  

1.  Calories.  a gram of fat has more calories than protein or carbs.  So if your denominator is calories (i.e. (satiety index)/(calories consumed) versus (satiety index)/(grams consumed))-- the volumetrics are going to allow people to consume more calories of fat than other macros


2. Timing.  If you eat a pound of cabbage, you will be stuffed -- but an hour later and you will be hungry again.  If you eat a pount of meat, you still have room to consume more -- but if you stop, you will be full for the whole day.


3. Palatability. Far and away, for me, potatoes are the most satieting food (my experience is pretty common: http://www.ucsyd.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/om_uc_syddanmark/dokumenter/marianne_markers_kursus_NRO/110228_Holt%20et%20al%20Satiety%20index.pdf).  Largely because potatoes, while delicous in small amounts, just are not palatable in large quantity.  You get bored eating them.  That's why the potato diet was so effective.  It's pretty hard to consume more than 1200 calories a day of potatoes.  Fat is different.  Fat is very palatable.


on September 17, 2014
at 01:36 PM

Calorie control is working for you because you're eating less than you were before, which means that you are also eating less carbs than before as well since this is your primary source of calories. For example, if you were eating 60% carbs on a 2000 calorie diet that will be 1200 cals (300 grams) from carbs. But if you now eat 1500 calories, even if you raise your percentage of calories from carbs to say 70%, that would still mean you are eating only 1050 cals (263 grams) from carbs. Simple math. 

And obviously eating less protein will mean your body will produce even less insulin than before, so yes, it makes sense to lose weight if you are decreasing your calories since most of these come from carbs and protein, you're lowering the main insulin-producing macronutrients.

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