|Image 1: Are we missing the cacao (=fat) for the chocolate? Study suggests that women do better without glucose than men (img. stern.de)|
"Gimme those extra sweet twinkies, honey!"
One of the common diet-related clichés is that while men love their greasy barbecue, women just can't live without their chocolate. If we disregard the actual macronutrient content of these foods and go just by their taste, this cliché tells us that women are "carbo-" and men "protein-o-fat-o-holics" - or put simply: Common wisdom would suggest that men are made for low-carbing, while women are going to have a tough time without their sweet treats. The results of the aforementioned study by Sandoval et al. do yet indicate that, from a merely physiological perspective, the exact opposite should be the case... but let's tackle one thing at a time.
|Figure 1: Low carb and low fat extreme. By force-feeding the rodents 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) or mercaptoacetate (MD), the scientists effectively blocked the use of glucose or fatty acids, respectively.|
No, what would conventional wisdom tell us, should have happened? Right! The female rats would have gone crazy in the 2-DG trial (without their "sweet" glucose) and the male rodents would have gone on one of the infamous "hunter and gatherer" greasy meat binges... but in fact, the exact opposite was the case.
|Figure 2: Relative food intake of male and female rats in the 3h after the IP injection of 80, 250 and 750mg 2-deoxyglucose (data adapted from Sandoval. 2012)|
[...] the males significantly increased food intake over saline only in response to the highest dose of MA used [...] In contrast, compared with saline, females had significantly greaterThese findings are not only of interest, because they may shed some (albeit counter-intuitive) light on why men and women tend to "diet" differently, but also because they strongly suggest that we are not dealing with either lipo- or glucostatic controls of energy intake (and probably metabolism), but with both.
food intake at 115 and 355 µmol/kg, and a strong trend (P < 0.06) at the 200µmol/kg doses of MA.
No-carb or no-fat? In the end neither will work
Davis. 2000), it does not matter if you starve yourself of fat or the ostensibly dispensable and fattening glucose, you still starve and if there is anything everyone should by now have understood, then this: Nothing stalls healthy weightloss more effectively than starvation.
So, don't be a bigoted pighead and acknowledge the value of both, fat and carbohydrates not as mutually exclusive, but as synergistic and with an "optimal" that is in constant flux and will be determined not only by your sex by, but also by your overall, metabolic and endocrine health, by your body composition, by your activity level and the type of activity and many other physiological, psychological, seasonal and environmental parameters that are just as diverse for each of us as our "optimal" macronutrient ratios.