Lowcarbarama is a gathering place for links and pointers to all sort of things relevant to low-carb: articles, blogs, interviews, Web sites, forums. It's a place for commentary on health and nutrition in public policy, the sciences and the media. Comments are welcome anytime, regardless of the post's date.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carb mouthwash?

Finally, a good use for carbohydrate in sports?

Personal Best: With This Rinse, Performance Improve by Gina Kolata, in the New York Times. Yes, Gina Kolata, she of the disappointing hatchet job review of "Good Calories, Bad Calories." It seems that athletes who rinse their mouths with a carbohydrate-water solution get the same performance boost as those who just drink the stuff. And somehow, artificial sweetener doesn't produce the boost.

I first heard of this experiment -- or perhaps it was just one like it -- on the podcast of the science radio show WNYC RadioLab. Interesting stuff. I wonder if the same effect would be found whether or not the athlete is carb-burning or fat-burning. I will have to try to figure out which episode it was. If anyone knows, please drop a comment -- thanks.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Karbs for Kids: More must be better!

The USDA released its 2010 dietary guidelines and everyone is horrified who knows the harm of an excess of carbs and a deficit of fat in the human diet.

Meantime, I dropped off my child at his summer enrichment program this morning. We strolled through the cafeteria, where he can share in the breakfast they offer, if we wish. It was early, and I took a look at the plastic trays set out ready for the children soon to arrive. I also peeked inside the milk locker.

Here's what they consider a suitable breakfast for children. Remember that this is in accordance with the current USDA recommendations. It is difficult, very difficult, for me to imagine how it could be even worse, but that's what the new guidelines promise.

Three doughnut holes
A heap of fruit cocktail, apparently from a can. I would estimate 1/3 to 1/2 cup
Choice of fat-free milk (30g carb, 28g as sugar per 8-ounce serving) or 1% fat chocolate milk whose second ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup

It is a recipe for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, behavioral problems. Name the modern pandemic, this breakfast will help you get there.

Think it can't get any worse? Here's a great post from Tom Naughton about the newer guidelines:
Carbohydrates Are Wonderful

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pandora's Seed

I just found out about this book via my Audible recommendation. It looks really interesting. I am curious to see how it compares to and relates to Guns, Germs and Steel, which also explores the some of the devastating effects brought on by the advent of agriculture.

From Publisher's Weekly, June 8, 2010, as presented on the Amazon.com page for Pandora's Seed:

"More food but also disease, craziness, and anomie resulted from the agricultural revolution, according to this diffuse meditation on progress and its discontents. Wells (The Journey of Man), a geneticist, anthropologist, and National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, voices misgivings about the breakthrough to farming 10,000 years ago, spurred by climate change. The food supply was more stable, but caused populations to explode; epidemics flourished because of overcrowding and proximity to farm animals; despotic governments emerged to organize agricultural production; and warfare erupted over farming settlements. Then came urbanism and modernity, which clashed even more intensely with our nomadic hunter-gatherer nature."