Good Calories, Bad Calories

I finished reading Gary Traubs’ Good Calories, Bad Calories on my Kindle. Here are a few passages I highlighted:

Accepting that high-calorie diets can lead to greater weight loss than semi-starvation diets requires overturning certain common assumptions.

It does seem like quite a stretch but I’m living proof. I am down 65 pounds in since April of 2010.

Insulin is the fatness culprit:

By the mid-1960s, four facts had been established beyond reasonable doubt: (1) carbohydrates are singularly responsible for prompting insulin secretion; (2) insulin is singularly responsible for inducing fat accumulation; (3) dietary carbohydrates are required for excess fat accumulation; and (4) both Type 2 diabetics and the obese have abnormally elevated levels of circulating insulin and a “greatly exaggerated” insulin response to carbohydrates in the diet.

Here’s a little bit on how it works:

This remarkably dynamic process, however, is regulated by a remarkably simple system. The flow of fatty acids out of the fat cells and into the circulation depends on the level of blood sugar available. The burning of this blood sugar by the cells—the oxidation of glucose—depends on the availability of fatty acids to be burned as fuel instead. A single molecule plays the pivotal role in the system. It goes by a number of names, the simplest being glycerol phosphate. This glycerol-phosphate molecule is produced from glucose when it is used for fuel in the fat cells and the liver, and it, too, can be burned as fuel in the cells. But glycerol phosphate is also an essential component of the process that binds three fatty acids into a triglyceride. It provides the glycerol molecule that links the fatty acids together.†116 In other words, a product of carbohydrate metabolism—i.e., burning glucose for fuel—is an essential component in the regulation of fat metabolism: storing fat in the fat tissue. In fact, the rate at which fatty acids are assembled into triglycerides, and so the rate at which fat accumulates in the fat tissue, depend primarily on the availability of glycerol phosphate. The more glucose that is transported into the fat cells and used to generate energy, the more glycerol phosphate will be produced. And the more glycerol phosphate produced, the more fatty acids will be assembled into triglycerides

This link show’s passages that others have quoted using their Kindles…Pretty cool stuff from both the book and the Kindle.

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