It seems not a day goes by that we don’t hear from David Zinczenko, Mr. “Eat This, Not That” on those Yahoo! internet news bites. His latest advice (excerpted from “8 Scary Food Myths…Busted!“, claims that the statement “Bread Will Make You Fat” is a myth, and he goes on to mention a American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article that found that “people that ate whole grains lost more belly fat than those that were told to avoid whole grains.”
I know David’s credentials are impeccable (he has authored or co-authored a wide variety of “Eat This, Not That” books after all), but evidently Mr. Z never learned how to read a research article properly. Or perhaps he didn’t learn how to properly interpret a research article…it’s hard to tell.
I must admit that I am not sure what AJCN David was referring to, since he conveniently left out the title and date of the article, but I’m fairly confident that it was this one, which you can link to and read for yourself. (And Dave, I know you’re reading this post, so please e-mail me to let me know if I cited the same article you were referring to. See you at the gym…)
If you read the article you will find that the subjects told to “avoid whole grains” were instead eating refined grains. So there were two groups: Whole grain eaters and refined grain eaters. Is it any wonder the whole grain eaters lost more belly fat? Of course not, they were eating more fiber, and as everybody knows (and has known since the 1960’s) if you eat more fiber you will tend to lose more weight than somebody eating less fiber (all else being equal, of course).
This study did not compare whole-grain eaters to non grain-eaters, as Mr. Z implied. So his comments about whole grains resulting in more weight loss are simply false.
The ludicrous thing is that David states in his “myth busting” article: “You should still avoid refined grains like “enriched” flour”, which is exactly what the refined grain-eating study group was NOT DOING.
Another “myth” that Mr. Z tries to bust is “Fat Will Make You Fat.” On this I agree with him, since it’s finally becoming common knowledge that fat actually helps you feel full and you tend to eat fewer calories than when eating a low-fat diet. But if you have read any of his “Eat This, Not That” books, he constantly condemns higher fat food items in favor of lower fat and higher carb selections. For evidence, one need look no further than to any of his super-ubiquitous nutrition advice “articles.” David, you can’t have it both ways…
What do you think of David Zinczenko? Is he providing a valuable service to his readers? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please send me a comment.
Robert J. Stone