“Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

~ Winston Churchill

Here’s an interesting article about a groundbreaking study that has revealed, and apparently in great detail, how enzymes in the cell conspire to make fat out of carbohydrates.  This is one of those “way cool to know” scientific studies that, other than supplying a bit of “nutrition geek” thrill,  lends additional credibility to our reduced-carbohydrate, lifestyle of choice.  I find the article a bit frustrating, though, in that the apparent immediate impulse of the finding is to formulate a pharmaceutical disruption of the aforementioned process.  Ponder, for just a moment, if you will, this quote from the release:

“Fatty Acid Synthase is a remarkably complex structure. It contains all of the components needed to convert carbohydrates into fat.”

All well and good.  But isn’t this a bit like discovering the molecular underpinnings of why your car spits and spasms with an accumulation of water in the tank?  And isn’t it ironic, too, that no mention is made of the glaringly obvious, most practicable (and even illuminated by the study itself) method by which to reduce fat accumulation?  The bottom line, of course, isn’t that we need a new pharmaceutical on the market, it’s that the overweight need to quit eating so damned much carbohydrates in the first place. And I can’t even begin to imagine what the potential side-effects of the proposed pharmaceutical intervention would be.  I do, though, happen to know what the side-effects of eating in the low-carbohydrate, Paleo way are.  And speaking of that, check out the abstract of this study (hat tip to Scott Sonnon, of CST Free Weight Exercises for this find).  Of course, had the study been carried-out over a longer time-frame the results would have been much more dramatic.  We’ll take, though, what good scientific print we can.

Just something random I thought I’d throw in: So, your friends want to eat at dinner at Chili’s (an American chain restaurant), and, not wanting to appear anti-social, you go along — and actually endeavor to eat.  Can the menu be navigated in a Paleo-friendly way without (1) tying up the waitress for 15 minutes with a “prima donna” order, and (2) drawing too much undue, “freak in our midst” attention?  Sure.  I ordered the fajia trio with a side of veggies (turned out to be steamed broccoli).  I ate the fajitas tortilla-less and straight from the comal, as one would an appetizer.  And they weren’t too bad for “chain restaurant” fajitas, either.

In Health,

Keith

8 COMMENTS

  1. The science is actually starting to pour in. It’s like someone turned on a faucet for studies like this. There was another one all over the blogs today (maybe the one you pointed to? I didn’t check!) about Paleo=good. 🙂

    And your comment on Chili’s is right on – exactly what I do. I’ve actually stopped worrying about substitutions – generally it’s not that big of a deal. If it is, I change my order. I even opened a big can of worms at work for asking for a salad instead of a sandwich! hehe.

    • Example is the best teaching tool, AT22. And you’re right, the science does keep pouring in. It’s funny (and not really in a “haha” way, I suppose), to see the study sponsor’s biases creeping in. In other words (and particularly in this example), it’s not “hey, let’s all eat less carbs”, but “hey, let’s develop a pharmaceutical that normalizes the negatives associated with the consumption of carbs”. I hate to bash on the pharmaceutical industry (of which I am a part), because there is obvious good being done. However, the profit motive is such that it’s easy to prey on the predictable laziness of the general public.

  2. Try the Chili’s Memphis dry-rub ribs with broccoli. If you skip the bbq sauce they bring on the side you’re eating a pretty good meal without any fuss at all.

  3. There seems a few paleo friendly meals on that menu Steak and Portbello or the chicken and shrimp.
    The problem is sometimes the carbs in the sugar laden sauces.
    But I often think of eating the best available at the time and get back on track the next day,which I’m thinking for me now would be to fast the next day

  4. So I’m a paleo/ev fit guy and also a pharmaceutical scientist who works on carbohydrate uptake and metabolism. I talk all day about that crap so I won’t get into it more.
    I agree with you about this article (the news anyways) their whole you could make a drug cause of this is why I’m getting out of the business sometime soon, I’m tired of being part of the problem instead of encouraging people to take ownership of their lifestyle based diseases. The actual science itself is very important though, especially from a point of view of understanding large complex proteins like this, and actually has an amazing number of applications which could be very important to any number of people.
    The problem is that the authors need to get their next grant funded, so it’s sold as having the greatest possible health/economic benefit as that has become a major factor in funding grants. I would bet that these scientists are not in fact interested in making a weight loss drug, they just want to keep doing good science.

    • John,
      Yeah, I totally understand the need to push (and the competition) for grants/funding. Scientists need to eat and pay bills, too. It’s just unfortunate that money is the driver, here, and the fact that he who has the funds, obviously, calls the funding shots.

  5. The Chili’s ribeye (for like $16) is good too (w veggies) as well as the dry rub baby backs (hold the sugar sauce). Some of the fish preparations w/out sauce are decent choices as well.

    We’ve got a Chili’s w/in three minutes. Don’t go there a lot, but your choice and those I’ve mentioned are workable when you do.

  6. It seems this attitude in Big Pharma is mentioned a bit in the book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” as well, but you already knew that.
    Scott Sonnon kicks ass!!…….literally. I am a big fan of a lot of his stuff,
    (once you get by the semi sensational advertising style he uses).

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