I would like to start a low carb diet ?

Ask:

Okay Im 5’6 , 147 , My goal weight is 130. I wanna go on a low carb diet but a really healthy one. Id be eating vegetables , chicken , salade , and eggs. I wont be using butter or oil of any such. I also am going to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. 45mins – 1 hour. How long will it take to reach my goal? Im also a BIG water drinker.

Answer:

A low fat, low carb diet is not healthy AT ALL. The body requires protein, fats & fuel calories (so that protein is not converted to fuel & is available for cellular needs). Fuel calories can come from carbs OR fats or both but there are not enough calories in vegetables to fuel the body. If you don’t eat adequate calories, the metabolism will shut down.

There is no better way to bring the body to the state of optimal health than with a low carb way of eating. Low carb doesn’t cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar or high cholesterol, it cures it. It is actually dangerous to take meds that lower these levels and do low carb at the same time because the levels will become dangerously low. Simple carbohydrates trigger insulin. High insulin levels unbalance other hormones. Anything less that 9 grams of carbs per hour controls insulin and is considered low carb (up to 144 grams per day).

U.S. government guidelines were changed 35 years ago to suggest we lower our fat intake & increase our carb intake. American society followed these recommendations & lowered their fat intake by 11% & increased their carb consumption. In this same time frame obesity, diabetes, heart disease are all at epidemic levels. Through their direct effects on insulin & blood sugar, refined carbohydrates are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease & diabetes.

A low carbohydrate diet is a high fat diet. The protein should only be a little higher than adequate. Although it is completely possible to live on a fat/protein only diet for long term (as proven by research done in a hospital setting) it becomes boring fairly quickly. Luckily many vegetables & some fruits, nuts & seeds are low in carbs and greatly expand the diet. Most long term low carbers eat as many, if not more non starchy vegetables than vegetarians.

Glucose is the bodies preferred fuel (if you want to get technical, it actually burns alcohol most efficiently, but that doesn’t make it any healthier for the body than carbs), the body can convert 100% of carbs, 58% of protein & 10% of dietary fat into glucose. The body can also be fueled by fat (dietary fat & fat cells) but only in the absence of carbs. Your brain actually prefers* to be fueled by ketones (part of the fat burning process), it does require glucose also, but glucose can be easily converted from excess protein if needed or dietary fat.

Plaque build up in the arteries is more attributable to carb consumption than dietary fats, which seems to be the conclusion of the following study. Carb consumption raises triglycerides & VLDL (bad cholesterol). Fats raise the HDL (good cholesterol). High triglyceride levels & low HDL levels are an indicator of plaque & glycation – the precursors to a heart attack & heart disease.

Study from the Oxford group examining the postprandial (after-eating) effects of a low-fat vs. low-carbohydrate diet. (Roberts R et al, 2008)

Postprandial lipoproteins, you’d think, would be plentiful after ingesting a large quantity of fat, since fat must be absorbed via chylomicrons into the bloodstream. But it’s carbohydrates that figure most prominently in determining the pattern and magnitude of postprandial triglycerides and lipoproteins. Much of this effect develops by way of de novo lipogenesis, the generation of new lipoproteins like VLDL after carbohydrate ingestion.

Gary Taubes who wrote “Good Calories, Bad Calories” spent 7 years going through all the studies over the last century & dividing up the real science from the faulty science & concluded that low carb was the best way to control insulin levels which balances out other hormones & allows the body to function properly.

His main points are:

1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease or any other chronic disease.

2. The problem is refined carbs in diet, their effect on insulin secretion & the hormonal regulation of homeostasis.

3. Sugars – sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup specifically – are particularly harmful, the combination of fructose & glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels & overload liver with carbs.

4. Through their direct effects on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbs, starches, sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease & diabetes. They are likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s & other diseases.

5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating.

6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter.

7. Fattening & obesity are caused by an imbalance in the hormonal regulation of adipose tissue & fat metabolism. Fat synthesis & storage exceed the mobilization of fat from adipose tissue & its subsequent oxidation.

8. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from fat tissue.

9. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbs make us fat.

10. By driving fat accumulation, carbs also increase hunger & decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism & physical activity.

The brain gets its energy from ketone bodies when insufficient glucose is available. After blood glucose is lowered for 3 days, the brain gets 30% of its energy from ketone bodies. After 40 days, this goes up to 70% (during the initial stages the brain does not burn ketones, since they are an important substrate for lipid synthesis in the brain). In time the brain reduces its glucose requirements from 120g to 40g per day.

Ketones have been described as “magic” in their ability to increase metabolic efficiency, while decreasing production of free radicals, the damaging byproducts of normal metabolism. The heart and brain operate 25% more efficiently using ketones as a source of energy

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