Low carb diets have become dogma for many people. Followers of the low carb cult insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diet.
Dr. Chris Kresser states, “While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations.”
Discovering The Truth About Low Carb Diets
Low Carb Diets Unsafe?
Kris Gunners of Authority Nutrition says the following; I often hear claims that low-carb diets are not proven to be safe in the long term. This is not true. We do have randomized studies that went on for as long as 2 years, with no adverse effects and nothing but positive effects on health.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that these diets should cause problems down the line.
There are several populations around the world that have eaten almost no carbohydrates for very long periods of times (their whole lives).
Both of these populations ate lots of meat and fat, were in excellent health, with no evidence of many of the chronic diseases that are killing Western populations by the millions.
But what we DO have are long-term studies on low-fat diets. In the Women’s Health Initiative, the largest randomized controlled trial ever on diet, low-fat diets were proven to be completely ineffective.
Studies showing health benefits of low-carb have gone for as long as 2 years. Populations that have eaten low-carb, high-fat diets for long periods of time are in excellent health.
Choosing The Right Carbs To Eat
Dr. Mark Hyman says the following: You may not realize this, but there are no essential carbs. There are essential fats (omega-3s) and essential proteins (amino acids), but if you never had any carbs again, you would survive.
That being said, good-quality carbs that come from plant foods provide unique benefits, including high levels of vitamins and minerals, fiber, and special plant compounds with healing properties called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are medicinal molecules such as curcumin in turmeric, glucosinolates in broccoli, anthocyanidins in berries and black rice, and so on.
Many of these foods are high in fiber, which helps buffer out their sugar content. That is one reason why eating a cup of blueberries has a dramatically different impact than put-ting four teaspoons of sugar in your coffee. Both have about 16 grams of sugar, but the nutrients, phytonutrients, and fiber in blueberries help buffer out that load, whereas the sugar-filled coffee simply raises your insulin levels and plummets your blood sugar, leaving you running for a muffin or other quick sugar fixes.
Besides stabilizing blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbs, fiber feeds the friendly flora in your gut and scrubs your intestines, thus supporting a healthy digestive tract. Try to gradually increase your fiber intake to 30 to 50 grams a day. That becomes easy when you focus on viscous fiber from legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and low-glycemic-load fruits.
When you focus on these low-glycemic-load plant foods, your weight normalizes. You feel better without the sugar crashes. You reduce your risk for numerous diseases.
Additional Benefits of Low Carb Diets
Live Science says the following: Low-carbohydrate diets, according to Fitzgibbon, are used to treat or prevent some chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, hyperinsulinemia and obesity. Many studies have been done on the benefits of this type of diet, and many are positive.
For example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that subjects who ate a low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight than subjects on a conventional diet for the first six months. Another study by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center found that research subjects with a high prevalence of diabetes or metabolic syndrome lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie- and fat-restricted diet. The test subjects also had an improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels, even after the findings were adjusted to account for weight lost.
Proof Low Carb Diets Work
Joe Manganiello’s fitness secrets are a low carb, sugar-free Paleo diet and CrossFit workouts, Celebrity Health reported. The 6-foot-5 Manganiello, who weighs 230 pounds, works out twice a day, six days a week, when he’s preparing for a film role or a shirtless photo shoot.
Dr. Hyman says, No matter what, you want to keep your glycemic load low. Always avoid refined sugars, refined carbs, and processed foods. If you do decide to eat grains, keep them to a mini-mum. Any grains can increase your blood sugar. Consider sticking with quinoa or black rice. And minimize starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and root vegetables, such as rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips.