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Wednesday 27 June 2012

Can a lowcarb diet also be low fat ?

This question comes up time and again on forums and blogs. In the short term, I believe a lowcarb-lowfat diet can be adhered to, arguably, almost any diet can be used in the short term, including starvation. The problem is, diabetes is for life, and hopefully that will not be a short term situation. Before going further, I would like to state what I consider to be a lowcarb diet, for me that is 50 or less grams of carb per day. I have seen many people and trials referring to lowcarb diets and often using well over a hundred carbs per day, often 150 carbs plus has been mentioned. These sorts of carb intakes are a complete and utter nonsense when described as lowcarb, and would have most non insulin using type two diabetics in double BG numbers most of the time. The next point to consider is energy expenditure, we turn food into fuel and burn it, or we store excess food as fat for fuel at a later date. So, how does this food/fuel get used ? 

About 70% of a human's total energy expenditure is due to the basal life processes within the organs of the body. I.E. 70% of  energy expenditure would be used if we were  sleeping or resting. It powers the brain, heart and other organs. For instance, 27% is used by the liver alone, the brain also scoffs up 19%, can you see where this is going ? Very low calorie diets do not work ! That is why they fail almost all of the time, starvation does not work, full stop ! Not only is it highly dangerous, it takes iron will. Let’s move on.

Back to the lowcarb diet. There are three main food groups, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Logic must tell you if you have reduced carbs drastically, you must make full use of the foods that are left, proteins and fats. There are limits to proteins regarding the quantity of proteins that are safe and we can afford. I would love to give a diet based on fillet steak, foie gras, venison, , lobsters, crab and scallops a go, but I can’t afford it. I have to rely on fats. Good quality fats. The sort of fats man has used for millions of years, the fats used long before heart disease, type two diabetes and obesity become the epidemics we now see. Fats from meat, eggs, coconut, other nuts, seeds, butter, cream, olive oil and cheese. 

So, in the long term can we lowcarb and lowfat ? In my opinion, not a chance. What about heart disease and high fat ? I am a heart disease case. Atherosclerosis and two heart stents fitted three years ago. Do I take statins no,  am I worried about a high fat diet no ! For around twenty years before diabetic diagnosis, I was low fat high carb. I believe this contributed to my type two diabetes. I firmly believe the hypothesis put forward by Ancel Keys was deeply flawed. I believe John Yudkin, was right and that a diet based on sugar/refined carbs is the reason for the type two diabetes epidemics, I also believe heredity components are involved.

I have asked Doctors and diabetic nurses, and dietitions this question for four years. How do I keep a safe weight, non diabetic BG numbers and good lipid counts on two Metformin tablets a day other than lowcarb ? I have yet to receive an answer.



Anonymous said...

Well said Eddie!! Low carb,low fat,low calorie almost killed me and made me like a skeleton after losing lot's of lean muscle and left me with as much energy as a sloth so +100


Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Paul

Thanks for your interest here. I have read your posts and as a young man you have been dealt some hard breaks. One thing that will keep you going is your great sense of humour and your open mind.

The very best of luck and health to you and yours.


Anonymous said...

Time after time you hit the nail on the head. Diabetics cannot use carbs. I have tried but carbs always catch up with me.