Insights I Have Gained From a Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF), Paleo, and Banting
Motivation comes from within you
Life hinges upon paradigm shifts; paradigm shifts lurk all around us disguised in other names:
•Malcolm Gladwell calls them as “Tipping Points”
•Tim Ferriss calls them “Harajuku Moments”
•Seth Godin labels them “Purple Cows”
•Nassim Taleb calls them “Black Swans"
It's the moment where something nice to have becomes something you can't live without.
It’s not the fear of something that will get you to do something on an enduring and sustained basis; much more powerful is an exciting vision of what the future could be rather than the fear
Sugar is highly addictive
Some of the most addictive substances known to man are:
Sugar affects the same part of your brain that gets affected by drugs, alcohol and smoking addiction, that’s why you have a zero calorie Coke Light but you can’t help yourself 5 minutes later when you see that donut, just one more hit…
Sugar is a legal drug; we are a sugar addicted society.
I wish I could add wheat to this list, and there is some evidence but nothing conclusive.
Fat is not bad
Animal fats, fats found in dairy, nuts, avocado coconut and olive oil are great. Fats are what keep you from feeling hungry.
There is no significant scientific evidence to support the link between dietary saturated fat and increased risk of heart disease
Low fat is nonsense
Typically these low fat products have their fat removed but then some sugary stuff added for it to taste good. You lose out on the good fats and you get the sugary rubbish.
Take a look at the label of a typical kids strawberry low fat yogurt. You will probably find 20g of sugar in it (5g = 1 teaspoon, therefore 4 teaspoons of sugar). Go for full cream or even double cream!
Avoid fruit juices
They are sugar bombs. You were never meant to squeeze so many genetically modified and sweetened fruits into one glass. Just check the labels and you will be horrified (5g of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar).
Fruit juice can have more suger than a glass of Coke! But what about the vitamins you say/ Putting a Vit C tab into a glass of Coke does not make it healthy.
Also be wary of too much fruit. A bit of low glycaemic fruit like apple, peaches and berries is probably ok once in a while.
High fructose, due to how it is metabolised in the liver, is linked to the incidence of fatty liver disease.
Some nuts are high in carbohydrate
Stick to almonds and macadamia nuts. Peanuts are really beans, and due to allergy issues (aflatoxins), peanut agglutinin and possible oil that causes atherosclerosis, I leave it to you to decide if you include them into your diet
Your GP won’t necessarily agree or know
There is a very good chance that your GP was taught and/or believes that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet is the best diet. The pharmaceutical companies have also pumped doctors with propaganda so that their medicines sell.
The evidence they have is often from scientists that are on the payrolls of pharmaceutical companies. Doctors would rather stick to what they “know”. They are trained to follow evidence based medicine. The problem is whose evidence are they following? How recent is the evidence, some of the key studies underpinning this are over twenty years old.
Food processing companies know all this
Already in the late 1970’s food processing companies were aware of what their highly addictive foods would do to obesity. They chose to ignore it for profits. These companies have food engineers that will find the “bliss spot” of a new product. They will make thousands of variances of a new product to find the perfect blend of salt, sugar and fat to get you to polish off the whole packet and buy more.
See the book “Salt, Sugar, Fat” by Michael Moss for some insight into this world
This is not a diet it’s a lifestyle
It’s not a diet that you stop after a while. The effects of a high carbohydrate diet will just come back and maybe even be worse than before. It’s well worth it though given the benefits.
But the temptation is always there and always will be there, and all the while the food industry is busy investing millions of dollars in trying to get you hooked again.
It becomes easier as it becomes habit, sort of like giving up smoking or drinking, but it is always there in the back of your mind, remember how the suger in the carbohydrates light up your brains pleasure centres.
A bit more salt
As your body gets used to using fat instead of sugar for energy you may feel tired and a little headachy for a few days. This will pass and suddenly you will have a burst of energy. Some of these effects may be as a result of decreased water retention and you becoming dehydrated.
Remember that each person has their own balance point of how much carbohydrate they can tolerate without side effects.
Unfortunately there is not much out there as a guideline.
Drink lots of water at first and have a bit more salt than usual.
LCHF is not high protein
Your protein should stay roughly the same. Your carb goes down and your fat goes up. For some people too much protein may in fact also spike their insulin level.
Grains cause inflammation
Our bodies aren’t designed to process large quantities of grain; we didn’t eat this stuff when we were evolving. We are not cows we do not need to eat grasses (wheat, grain) in order to be healthy.
We are all somewhere on the continuum of being affected by grains, particularly wheat. Some of us less, some of us more. There are scientific experiments that prove this
Cholesterol is not necessarily bad
There is a lot of contention right now as to whether high cholesterol
causes heart attacks.
Cholesterol is part of lipoproteins which transport your macro nutrients around your body.
A more important indicator is the size of your LDL particles. The smaller they are the greater the chance they have of attaching to your arteries and causing blockages.
Statins are being called the greatest pharmaceutical fraud of all times worth billions of dollars. Some independent tests have shown that they drop the incidence of heart attacks by
less than 2% but have nasty side effects.
If you wish to know more there is not better resource than the Cholesterol Series from Peter Attia
The pressure of society
Low fat and lots of healthy carbs is what our GP says and what the diabetic association says we should eat. When you turn down the pasta at your mom’s dinner… PRESSURE …
Over time those around you come to accept it and leave you alone. As they see you benefit they will become curious and may even be willing to give it a try too.
Stress, an enemy
Stress (adrenaline and cortisol) also affects the insulin hormone and can start the vicious cycle.
The production of adrenaline and cortisol from the adrenal gland is intricately tied to insulin production from the pancreas. These three, adrenaline, cortisol and insulin, are considered the major hormones in the body, without which you cannot survive.
Stay calm, be gentle to yourself, make space for yourself, exercise, do something to keep stress down like Tai Chi.
You can`t count calories
When your body is in equilibrium it will automatically deal with an over or undersupply of food (within reason of course). It also processes different calories differently depending on the type of food.
Calories do count, for example if you drink ten thousand calories of butter every day for a year, even though you won't produce much insulin, you will get fat, but no one does this and no one will do this, so although calories do count you don’t need to count them
Your body is smart enough to regulate your calorie uptake, it is how the body works, it’s called homeostasis.
"Carbohydrate calories, which elevate blood glucose, are dramatically more detrimental to human physiology, and specifically to human health, than are calories derived from healthful sources of fat.”
See the book “Why we get Fat and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes.
I think of it this way, your muscle cells becomes resistant to insulin and your body responds by pumping out more insulin to do the same job so your insulin levels goes up.
A long term high insulin level is being linked to a number of really nasty diseases
Tumours grow like crazy on sugar but not on a fat based diet. Tumours respond to high levels of Insulin and Insulin like Growth factor (IGF)
Elevated insulin looks like it promotes tumour growth. Trials are under way to test the effects of treating cancer patients with LCHF diets.
Test results are promising but have not gone on long enough to pass the rigour of clinical trials. Already ketogenic diets are proven to help treat kids with seizures.
Makes one wonder why the incidence of cancer has flared up over the last few decades?
Insulin resistance at 1.47.30
Alzheimer’s is being called diabetes type III
It is being said that Alzheimer’s is really just the effect of the brain being damaged by continued insulin spikes, just like the pancreas is.
This is not well understood yet, but the early indication is the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s are broken down by a hormone called Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE), IDE also as the name suggests breaks down insulin.
The theory is that in a high insulin environment IDE spends more time breaking down insulin and less time breaking down the amyloid plague, so the plaques accumulate.
In summary, Insulin resistance of:
- the brain - Alzheimer’s
- the liver – fatty liver disease
- the pancreas – Diabetes
If you fall off LCHF don’t beat yourself up
Get back on track, think about what triggered it, what you learnt from this and what you will do better the next time that trigger comes along.