Is A Low Carb Diet Healthy?
“Is a Low Carb Diet Healthy?” This question has been swirling around the blogosphere lately with many different answers. Some claim that really low-carb is the only way to go, others claim that eating low carb messed up their thyroid or other hormones. One important distinction that must be made is between low-carb and grain-free. These two are often lumped together and then the argument is made that grain-freeis unhealthy because it is too low-carb. Certainly, one could eat a very high carb grain-free diet, or a somewhat low-carb diet with grains. For the sake of understanding the health aspects of either diet, they must be separated. You know how I feel about the dangers of grains, so for now, let’s just address the low-carb aspect. Can Low Carb Affect Your Hormones? Short answer: Yes. But this can vary widely by individual and can be both positive or negative, depending on the person. Some people (a very small percentage of my clients) who jump into low carb from a very high carb diet will experience some thyroid-like side effects a few weeks or few months after switching such as fatigue, coldness in extremities, hair-loss or other problems. The interesting factor here, is that when these people have their hormones tested, most thyroid panels will come back normal (because most doctors only test Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH and T4 hormones). In my experience, these clients are also ones who went low-carb for weight-loss reasons and often have an underlying hormone issue to begin with. Interestingly, even for those who have completely normal blood results, adding a lot (like Standard American Diet a lot) of carbs back to the diet will make these symptoms go away. This obviously means that low-carb is bad for these individuals…. right? Nope! And actually Continue reading >>
How Low-carb Diets Wrecked Our Health: As Women Reveal How They Suffered Fertility Problems, Thin Hair And Fragile Bones, Do You Still Fancy A Trendy High-protein Diet?
Brooke Power, 27, suffered migraines and dizziness Nutritionists say a balanced diet is better Gillian O'Toole, 32, nearly passed out on the Paleo Diet Emma-Victoria Houlton loves her food; whether it's a Sunday roast with all the trimmings or an Italian meal, she's always happy to tuck in. But just five years ago, Emma, 29, would have baulked at eating pasta, bread, pizza dough, potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. Why? Because, like thousands of others, she believed high-protein, low-carb regimes like the Atkins or Paleo diets were the most effective way to be slim. Diet damage: Emma-Victoria Houlton, left, broke a bone in her foot due to calcium deficiency while Brooke Power, right, suffered migraines and dizziness during ten months on a low carb diet But, after cutting down on carbs so much that she wouldn't even eat dairy products as they contain lactose - a sugar - Emma-Victoria believes she has permanently damaged her health. 'I was only a size eight but found it hard to stay slim,' she says. 'Then, when I was 22, I saw a documentary about the Atkins diet, thought it was great and cut most carbs out of my diet. 'Breakfast was an omelette, lunch was chicken with lettuce and dinner was something meaty with vegetables like kale, cabbage, sprouts or runner beans, which don’t contain starch. 'I got all the classic symptoms associated with a low-carb diet: dry mouth, tiredness, crankiness and bad breath. But I saw great results - my 8st 7lb weight was much easier to maintain.' Unbelievably, Emma-Victoria, a creative director in Manchester, stuck to the regime for three punishing years. 'At restaurants, every meal had to be steak and salad,' she says. 'I'd go to a friend's house for dinner and if they'd made pasta, I'd eat a tiny amount, so as not to be rude, and end up f Continue reading >>
Top 15 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight On A Low-carb Diet
Weight loss isn’t a linear process. If you weigh yourself every day, then there will be days where the scale goes down, other days where it goes up. It doesn’t mean that the diet isn’t working, as long as the general trend is going downwards. Many people lose a lot of weight in the first week of low-carbing, but it is mostly water weight. Weight loss will slow down significantly after that initial phase. Of course, losing weight is not the same as losing fat. It is possible, especially if you’re new to weight lifting, that you are gaining muscle at the same time that you’re losing fat. To make sure that you’re losing, use something other than just the scale (which is a big, fat liar). Use a measuring tape to measure your waist circumference and have your body fat percentage measured every month or so. Also, take pictures. Take note of how your clothes fit. If you’re looking thinner and your clothes are looser, then you ARE losing fat no matter what the scale says. Bottom Line: Weight loss isn’t linear and there’s a lot more to weight than just body fat. Be patient and use other ways of measuring than just the scale. Some people are more carb sensitive than others. If you’re eating low-carb and your weight starts to plateau, then you may want to cut back on carbs even further. In that case, go under 50 grams of carbs per day. When you go under 50 grams per day then you’re going to have to eliminate most fruits from your diet, although you can have berries in small amounts. If that doesn’t work either, going under 20 grams temporarily can work… eating just protein, healthy fats and leafy green vegetables. To make sure that you’re really eating low-carb, create a free account on Fitday and log your food intake for a while. Bottom Line: If you ar Continue reading >>
Breaking Up With Paleo
I occasionally get emails and tweets admonishing me for being hostile to paleo and low-carb, having moved on and having to take a glancing blow behind me. It’s not an unfamiliar experience– I received the same when I stopped being vegan. The truth is that I’m not hostile to paleo, low-carb, or vegan. All three represent food subcultures that taught me a lot about food and how it affects my health. I am thankful for that. Unfortunately all have quasi-religious underpinnings that can be detrimental to health. They are also hostile to critics. It has been very difficult for me as a skeptic since criticism is frequently deemed to be a personal attack and is ironically often answered with personal attacks. Furthermore, when I was embedded with it socially, it was almost if you spoke up, you were in danger of being socially ostracized. It is my own experience that no one is blacklisted even for the worst behavior...unless they are openly skeptical. It has been hard to leave. I mean there were good things– I got involved with grass-fed livestock because of it and many of my best customers, friends, and mentors also have a similar story. I thought maybe things could go back to the way they were when I started, when it was far more casual on a dietary level and it was largely a movement of people passionate about things like sustainable food, anthropology, evolutionary biology, and figuring out what worked for them. I have told my own health story what seems like a thousand times, but the thing is I got better without being very restrictive at all beyond a period of very low carbing that had a targeted purpose, which was to allow my stomach to heal. It was more about adding foods to my diet such as meat and seafood then subtracting them, as well as letting go of dietary Continue reading >>
Stop Eating Low-carb (if You Care About Your Thyroid)
This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on overcoming hypothyroidism: Part 1 – How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails… Part 2 – How to Heal Your Thyroid By Healing Your Liver Part 3 – [You Are Here] – Stop Eating Low-Carb (If You Care About Your Thyroid) The myth has long since been debunked. But unfortunately, some fads stick around long past their welcome. I’m talking about the low-carb diet myth. I understand the thought process and why it’s still hanging around. Weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism (yet, so is excessive weight loss). And low-carb diets promote short term weight loss. So, it must be healthy for your thyroid, right? Well, you can also lose weight instantly by cutting off your left arm. But that won’t help your thyroid either. Don’t worry I fell for it too, many years ago. And unfortunately I had to learn this hard way like so many others. Long ago, I spent a couple of years following a low-carb diet. And I stuck through it because at the time the doctors and practitioners I was studying believed it was the key to health. As I watched my health fall apart during those years, it was obvious that my thyroid took a turn for the worse. My body temperature plummeted. My hands and feel were always cold. I crashed as soon as I walked in the door from work. I couldn’t handle a bit of stress and felt overwhelmed with just about everything in life. The list goes on and on… Little did I know, my low-carb diet was ruining my thyroid. And I’m not the only one. Today, low-carb diets are commonly recommended for hypothyroidism sufferers. At least half of the clients I work have either tried in the past or come to me while following a low-carb diet of some sort. And while many do feel better initially, it’s not because of a Continue reading >>
Dietitian Weighs In On The Keto Diet
Another day, another fad diet. There’s Atkins, South Beach, paleo, Whole30, Sugar Busters—too many to name. These days the buzz seems to be about a weight-loss craze called the keto diet. But it’s hard to sift through the contradictory advice found online. Two pounds of bacon a day? That can’t be good for you. To help separate fact from fiction, Health Beat spoke with Kirsten Vereecken, RD, CSP, a registered dietitian at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. What is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet was developed at the Mayo Clinic in 1924 as a way to treat epilepsy in children. Although it was effective at controlling seizures, the diet fell by the wayside when new anti-seizure medications came on the market in the following decades. In recent years, the ketogenic diet has made a comeback, and medical teams are again using it as a therapy for kids with epilepsy whose seizures can’t be fully controlled by medications. The goal of the keto diet is to put the patient into what’s called a state of ketosis through a food regimen that’s high in fat and ultra-low in carbohydrates, with moderate amounts of protein. In simple terms, Vereecken said, ketosis is a metabolic shift in which the body uses fat as the primary energy source rather than carbs. “When we eat carbohydrates, the carbs are converted to glucose, and that’s our energy source. When we don’t have carbohydrates to do that, then our body burns fat,” she said. The process starts in the liver, where fatty acids are converted into ketone bodies, or ketones. Elevated levels of ketones in the blood leads to ketosis, which can decrease the frequency of seizures—though experts still don’t know exactly how this works in the brain. The important point, Vereecken said, is that the Continue reading >>
Can Low-carb Diets Result In Hair Loss?
Is it possible to lose hair when starting a low-carb diet? Yes, and there are many misunderstandings and myths about it. Here’s what you may need to know. Temporary hair loss can occur for many different reasons, including any big dietary change. This is especially common when severely restricting calories (e.g. starvation diets, meal replacements) but it can also occasionally happen on low-carb diets. If so, it usually starts 3-6 months after starting a new diet, at which point you’ll notice an increasing amount of hairs falling out when brushing your hair. The good news is that even if you should be so unfortunate this is only a temporary phenomenon. And only a percentage of the hair will fall out (the thinning will rarely be very noticeable to others). After a few months all the hair follicles will start to grow new hair, and when they have regrown your hair will be as thick as before again. Of course, if you have long hair this could take a year or even more. Background To understand exactly what is happening it’s necessary to know the basics of how hair grows. Every single hair on your head usually grows for about 2-3 years at a time. After that it stops growing for up to 3 months. Then a new hair starts growing in the same hair follicle, pushing the old hair out. Thus you’re losing hairs every day, but as the hairs are unsynchronized it’s not so noticeable. You lose one hair and another starts growing, i.e. you always have about the same number of hairs on your head. Stress and synchronized hair loss If your body experiences significant stress more hairs than usual can enter the resting phase at the same time. This can happen for many reasons, like these: Starvation, including calorie-restricted diets and meal replacements Diseases Unusually demanding ex Continue reading >>
How The Super Healthy, Low Carb/sugar Paleo Diet Ruined Our Health & Sanity
If you are doing awesome on it, great! Peeps if you are following paleo, LCHF, primal or some other way of eating and it’s working for you and you feel amazing, that is super fantastic, I’m honestly very happy for you. This post isn’t for you.. or maybe it is so you know what to watch out for, I simply implore you to listen to and love your body and change shit up if you need to. If all is going well, fantastic!! Much health and happiness to you. This is my story and my partners so you don’t have to relate to it in any way, shape or form if you’re going to be a nasty about it, please keep it to yourself. I’m 3 days overdue pregnant and I don’t give a fuck about your precious ego or how I didn’t do it right or how you have the answers and are better than everyone. Seriously. Read with an open mind or go along on your merry way. Pre Paleo When I met Dan he was fit, robust and literally NEVER, EVER got sick. We enjoyed watching tv series (Game of Thrones, True Blood, The Walking Dead) together whilst eating mix bag lollies and we LOVED to eat out. We didn’t worry about what we ate. Dan subsisted on mainly cereal, subway, Boost smoothies, omelettes and some vegetables and meat now and then; I remember he would eat like four bowls of cereal in the morning- so a pretty high carb diet, our favourite cuisine was Japanese, especially the sticky rice and the green tea ice cream for dessert. Getting sick- start of diet obsessions I had battled candida in the past but when I met him I was doing pretty well as I had been on a long course of daily Diflucan and that seemed to sort that out for a while, unfortunately it appeared to really mess with my immune system and I began getting vomiting bugs all the time and contracted some nasty viruses such as Eppstein Barr a Continue reading >>
- DIABETES DIET: Fast-acting low calorie ‘Super’ diet of soups and shakes help in fight
- Type 2 Diabetes Reversed With Weight Loss: Super Low-Calorie Diet May Cure the Disease
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Keto Diet Guide
Both my Apps and my first Cookbook include a complete guide to the Ketogenic Diet amongst many other features. Since I get frequently asked about it on my Facebook page, I have decided to share a brief overview of this guide with all of you! What is the Ketogenic Diet? Contrary to general dietary recommendations which have proven to be false, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. It's a diet that causes ketones to be produced by the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. The ketogenic diet is an effective weight loss tool and has been shown to improve several health conditions such Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy and even cancer. Healthy cells can use ketones for energy, but cancer cells cannot and they literally starve to death. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of the ketogenic diet, my good friend Franziska Spritzler, who also happens to be a qualified dietitian specialising on low-carb nutrition, has written a great article for my blog. How does it work? Very simply said, when you eat food high in carbs, your body produces glucose and insulin. While glucose is used as the main source of energy, insulin secretion is produced to down regulate your glucose levels in the blood stream. Insulin is also responsible for storing fat in our body and if your body produces too much of it, you put on weight. Excessive carbs, typical in modern diets, combined with lack of physical activity will likely result in weight gain. Based on a comparison of several scientific trials, low-carb diets outperform calorie-restricted diets in terms of long-term weight loss and health effects. A common misconception is that our body, especially our brain, needs glucose. Although glucose is known to be Continue reading >>
Is Your Low Carb Diet Causing Thyroid Issues?
Is a low carb diet really all it's cracked up to be? While many people find that they can successfully lose weight and kick hormonal imbalances to the curb on a very low carbohydrate diet, sometimes after an initial period of success, the weight comes back. Or fatigue sets in. The outer edges of the eyebrows may even begin thin. These may be signs of an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. Having trouble dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? Gaining weight for no reason at all? If a low carb diet has imbalanced your thyroid hormones, try integrating grain-like seeds, starchy vegetables, and fermented vegetables into your diet, made with the Veggie Culture Starter. Hibernation syndrome sounds like what you might expect: It is identified by weight gain, the desire to sleep, and cold extremities. There is a reason why hypothyroid symptoms may pop up several months after abruptly changing the diet from carb-heavy to carb-empty. How Low Carb Thyroid Problems Occur Many grains and grain-based foods (not to be confused with the recommended Body Ecology grain-like seeds, which are not true grains) are capable of damaging the lining of the digestive system. Over the long haul, this can contribute to imbalances in the immune system. When eaten in large quantities (think USDA Food Pyramid), these grains can also do things like: Feed disease-causing bugs, such as yeasts, fungi, parasites, and bacteria. Play a role in micronutrient and mineral deficiency. Generate insulin resistance and block hormone receptors. Contribute to a wide range of inflammatory disorders. Accelerate aging at a molecular level. When you go on a very low carbohydrate diet, you remove all grains, as well as most fruits and starchy vegetables. Removing the damaging refined grains can explain the initi Continue reading >>
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
Should You Have Cheat Meals On A Ketogenic Diet?
Damn does that cake look good! Cheat meals. Everyone thinks about them when following any diet, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. You might be wondering if you should have cheat meals while going keto. Is it worth it? Is it okay? Will it mess up your progress completely? Intellectually, why would you want to eat something that isn’t in line with your goals or your health? Let’s face it, cheat day meals are bad for you. We know it. The ketogenic diet is simple, but not always easy, and there are some grey areas, so lLet’s talk a little bit about what happens when you have cheat meals and whether or not they’re worth it. You might know people who do low-carb long-term and schedule cheat meals in at regular times, such as on the weekends or set days each month. While this creates a healthy mindset around not needing to be perfect, things are a little different with the ketogenic diet. Since keto is stricter than other low-carb diets, (see our post on keto vs. Atkins) it’s more tempting to have cheat meals. However, the effects of them can be more dramatic. Disadvantages of Cheat Meals on the Ketogenic Diet Here are some consequences of having cheat meals. These are things to consider before flying off the deep end with some emotional eating. Let’s get the big one out of the way first, Cheating Takes You out of Ketosis Since cheating on the keto diet more than likely will take you out of ketosis—especially if the cheat meal or snack is carb-heavy—you have to be prepared for this fact. Know that it’ll likely set you back some and take some time to get back into a ketogenic state. When you have eaten what you suspect was a “cheat meal,” put it to the acid test, and test your ketone levels. People are often surprised that they stay in ketosis after Continue reading >>
Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?
I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In Continue reading >>
Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised
As the ketogenic diet gains popularity, it’s important to have a balanced discussion regarding the merits of this diet. Let me emphasize right out of the gate that this is not a diet without merits (excuse the double negative); in fact, it has significant therapeutic potential for some clinical pathologies. However, it is also a diet with inherent risk, as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature—and this has not yet been a thorough enough part of the public discussion on ketogenic diets. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the first of a series of articles discussing various facets of a ketogenic diet with an inclination toward balancing the discussion of the pros and cons of this high-fat, low-carb, low/moderate-protein diet. My interest in this topic stems from concerns I have over its general applicability and safety, simultaneous with its growing popularity. I feel a moral and social obligation to share what I understand of these diets, from my perspective as a medical researcher. The dangers of a ketogenic diet was, in fact, the topic of my keynote presentation at Paleo F(x) this year (links to video will be provided once available). This series of articles will share the extensive research that I did in preparation for this presentation, including all of the topics covered during my talk as well as several topics that I didn’t have time to discuss (also see the free PDF Literature Review at the bottom of this post). For every anecdotal story of someone who has regained their health with a ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derai Continue reading >>
Long Term Very Low Carb And Ketogenic Diets = Bad News
Via Spanish Caravan, a frequent commenter with let’s just say a “medical background.” ~~~ Physiological Insulin Resistatnce (PIR) results from glucose deficiency the same way mucin deficiency induces dry eyes, nostrils, colon and anemia like symptoms. They’re both ways of preserving glucose for your brain. When you VLC, your muscles become insulin resistant to preserve your glucose for the brain. So while your muscles are running on fatty acids, they become insulin resistant. This leaves glucose for your brain but the net result is your BG going up as you’re “physiologically” insulin resistant. There doesn’t really seem to a problem with this state, as there is with mucin deficiency; it’s not known to induce diabetes or make prediabetics diabetic. At least not according to those who advocate VLCing. I have a feeling however, that this is a disease-prone state. The effects of low carbohydrate diets on insulin sensitivity depend on what is used to replace the dietary carbohydrate, and the nature of the subjects studied. Dietary carbohydrates may affect insulin action, at least in part, via alterations in plasma free fatty acids. In normal subjects a high-carbohydrate/low-GI breakfast meal reduced free fatty acids by reducing the undershoot of plasma glucose, whereas low-carbohydrate breakfasts increased postprandial free fatty acids. Why is it disease-prone? Because high serum free fatty acids are implicated in various disease states, especially immune related (and also diabetes in some cases). High serum FFA and very low trigs that we see among those who VLC are associated with nascent autoimmunity, especially rheumatic autoimmunity. See: Low fasting serum triglyceride level as a precocious marker of autoimmune disorders. We’re talking about triglycer Continue reading >>