Not a clinician but I don’t think there is much doubt that regularly consuming highly processed foods leads to bad health outcomes - too little protein, too few vitamins and trace elements etc etc. It is also very easy to eat too much highly processed foods - and unwittingly take in far too many calories - leaving you piling on the weight but poorly nourished.
@AlexEllermann Mostly it is about glycemic index. Refined carbs generally are high GI where as unrefined are often low GI (depending on how they are cooked).
Refined foods generally strip out the fiber and other beneficial qualities of the food. Refined foods can increases the rate of absorption, throw off our satiety cues and also make the liver work hard to process things. Lack of fiber also messes with gut bacteria and lead to sending the wrong signals to the brain. For example when you finish eating a hamburger you probably have the ability to eat another one. But if you eat the same amount of calories in salad (probably a 5 gallon bucket) you would probably have a tough time finishing your meal.
Also not a clinician, but I am aware that nutrition is a very complicated field, with a slew of variables and unique circumstances for the individual. I would highly recommend doing your research, seek the console of experienced, knowledgable, and qualified professionals, and workout the results through a regimented process.
For a population who are not exercising, then yes consuming excess carbohydrates especially in highly processed forms with a high glycemic index which causes an insulin response that will convert the carbs into body fat stores is correct. However, firstly these studies are often based on a ‘it fits most people so let’s apply it to all’, so don’t assume it’s the same for everybody. Another issue is that they can leave out other variables. Finally, for anyone doing high intensity exercise, larger volumes of training, or wanting to perform at a high capacity, carbohydrates are essential for health and performance. Fuel for your requirements. If you are doing a Road Race, drinking 100g of sugary carbs an hour is better for you than drinking a keto smoothie.
Timing is also another important element that is very often overlooked. Sugar after exercise or during it has a very different role in the body than sugar had at the end of the day 6 hours after you completed exercise. Nutrition and how the body works is a very complex process, it’s also changing within individuals, let alone trying to apply theories to an entire population! The best advice I’ve heard is to use what works for you. The only things really worth avoiding are things you’re allergic too, or trans fats. Outside of that, most foods have a purpose for someone and there is not such thing (outside of what I mentioned) as bad foods
There is so much misinformation out there and the industry interests are huge. It is hard to figure out what to believe so I did indeed my own research.
After my first Ironman I decided to go for low carbs and increased my fat burning abilities for my second. In my view things are simple, if you train (force?) your body to burn carbs by feeding it carbs, it will demand carbs. If you train your body to burn fat, by limiting carbs, indeed especially high glycemic index carbs like gels, it will burn more fat. I have tried out all sorts of stuff that some might consider extreme, like fasting (water only) for up to 7 days and also keeping my body in ketosis for longer periods. My body has become very good at burning fat after decennia of eating too many carbs. It is also easier to maintain my body weight.
I do take some carbs during long MTB races 80 grams over 5 hours maybe. Nothing close to the 100gr/hour mentioned.
As also mentioned elsewhere on the forum, I don’t bother about carbs for training rides of less than 3 hours and routinely do long rides on an empty stomach. Yes, intensity matters. Last week, 2 days after a FF I did Kitchen Sink, 3 hours of riding. I leave it up to you to decide if this was intense or not, but I did it without breakfast and took no crabs during the ride.
So, I believe the article has a lot of value for athletes as well.