If you are at all interested in WHY Low Carb is better than Low Fat, take a look at Dr. Eades recent post on AMPK.
A quick summary:
AMPK is an extremely important enzyme as it does the following:
“1. Increases glucose uptake: We want to get glucose out of the blood and into the cells to burn.
2. Increases glycolysis: We need to break down glycogen (stored sugar) to get the glucose to burn.
3. Increases fatty acid oxidation: An obvious one. We want to start burning fat to replenish the depleted energy stores.
4. Increases mitochondrial biogenesis: we want to make more mitochondria to burn fat and generate as much ATP as possible.
5. Inhibits gluconeogenesis: We don’t want to spend energy making more sugar – we want to burn it.
6. Inhibits glycogen synthesis: Same thing – we don’t want to store sugar, we want to burn it.
7. Inhibits fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis: We don’t want to spend energy making fat and cholesterol.
8. Inhibits insulin secretion: We want insulin to be low, so that we can move stored fat and sugar to where it needs to be burned.”
The paper that Dr. Eades discusses concludes the following:
“In referring to these two studies, the researchers noted:
We observed that caloric restriction with [a low-fat/high-carb] diet did not alter the AMPK [activation], suggesting that increased dietary carbohydrate content even in the face of caloric restriction prevented activation of AMPK… in skeletal muscle of obese individuals. In contrast, overfeeding with [a low-carb/high-fat] diet increased the activity of this pathway [AMPK] indicating that low carbohydrate content may be sufficient for its activation.
And in summary, they commented:
Our data indicate that a relative deficiency in carbohydrate intake or, albeit less likely, a relative excess of fat intake even in the absence of caloric deprivation is sufficient to activate this network and increase fat oxidation.” (emphasis mine)
Why so exciting? In Dr. Eades own words: “Such an exciting study as this one should drive a fair amount of research in this direction quickly. If you do a PubMed search for AMPK, you will find there is plenty of interest. I hope we don’t have to wait long. But until new research comes along definitively overriding this paper, I’m going to continue my own regimen of restricted carb dieting and recommend you to do the same.”