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TOPIC: CBS Interview with Dr. Neal Barnard about PMS and Low carb

CBS Interview with Dr. Neal Barnard about PMS and Low carb 07 Sep 2005 12:32 #4101

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CBS News Transcripts

SHOW: The Early Show (7:00 AM ET) - CBS

September 26, 2003 Friday

TYPE: Interview

LENGTH: 598 words

HEADLINE: Dr. Neal Barnard, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, discusses how a low-carb diet may make PMS worse

ANCHORS: JULIE CHEN

BODY:
Announcer: THE EARLY SHOW continues now from the General Motors Building in New York City.

JULIE CHEN, co-host:

Women dieters, beware. A low-carb diet may help you lose some weight, but it can also make premenstrual symptoms worse. Dr. Neal Barnard is the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Good morning, Dr. Barnard.

Dr. NEAL BARNARD (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine): Good morning.

CHEN: Let's first establish what is PMS?

Dr. BARNARD: Well, PMS is a symp--is a whole group of symptoms, whether it's bloating or emotional feelings, that precedes the onset of the period and then after that, crampy pain and so forth can also be related to the PMS symptoms.

CHEN: So how does a diet high in fat affect these symptoms?

Dr. BARNARD: Well, a diet that's high in fat tends to push estrogen levels. I'm talking about the female sex hormone. It--it pushes the es--the levels of these in the blood up too high. And in a study that we did where we compared women on a higher fat diet vs. a lower fat diet, we found that the symptoms of bloating, water retention, feeling out of sorts, as well as crampy pain, were much, much worse when the fat content of the diet was higher. And when we put gr--the same group of women on a very low-fat diet, all these symptoms improved or in some cases went away completely.

The problem we have is with the low-carb diets because the carbohydrates are taken out of the--the diet. You're left with a huge amount of protein, which is linked now, as we now know, to rather massive calcium losses and also kidney problems. The new evidence shows that you can have a permanent loss of kidney function that is related exactly to how much protein you're consuming and the fat that is left in these diets is causing these estrogen problems to go haywire.

CHEN: So what is the ideal diet for a woman to have who suffers from symptoms of PMS?

Dr. BARNARD: The ideal diet is probably exactly the opposite of the high protein approach. When different diets have been tested, when women set aside the meat completely, were on a very low-fat diet, the group that we followed that did the very best on these followed a totally vegan diet, where they had no meat at all and also kept the vegetable oils very low. It's no good setting aside the pork chops if you're going to have lots of greasy French fries and things. You've really got to keep all the oils low because when you do that, the body keeps estrogen in much better balance and that's what's tran--that's what translates into less cramps, less PMS symptoms.

CHEN: In addition to this vegan diet, can we incorporate, you know, the pastas and--and the bread that we've been avoiding?

Dr. BARNARD: Yes. You know, I--I'm glad you raised that. A lot of people have become sort of pasta phobic and they don't really need to be. When we actually tested, white bread really does cause your blood sugar to spike a little bit, although other kinds of breads like pumpernickel and rye do not do that. With regard to pasta, they virtually all get a not-guilty verdict. When we feed it to an individual and measure their blood sugar later, you don't really see much perturbation of their blood sugar. That's a good thing. But now, if you throw the Alfredo sauce all over the top of it, well, all bets are off.

CHEN: Oh, you just had to ruin that for me. Dr. Neal Barnard, thanks. Good advice.

Dr. BARNARD: Sure. Thank you.

CHEN: Still ahead, the grocery store clerk who got sacked on "Survivor." We'll be right back.

(Announcements)

LOAD-DATE: September 28, 2003

CBS Interview with Dr. Neal Barnard about PMS and Low carb 03 Oct 2005 15:04 #4102

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A very insightful interview.

Interestingly enough, I've always maintained that it is not necessary for women to try to ignore their carb-cravings during their symptomatic time.

I encourage women to instead opt for complex-carb snacks, instead of trying to completely (and unsuccessfully) not give in to these, in truth, very necessary cravings (but to do so in a healthy way instead of reaching for the candy and the oh-so-convenient fast-foods). :wink:

It is indeed a very good idea to opt for a low-fat diet, as opposed to a high-protein, high-fat diet, as the good doctor pointed out. Excellent information! Thanks for posting it Debra. :)

CBS Interview with Dr. Neal Barnard about PMS and Low carb 03 Oct 2005 15:45 #4103

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Glad you liked the interview. It was specifically for women who've attempted the low carb diet trend that seems to be fading away fast.

I'm happy to see your post!
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