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Low Carb Diet Myths

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by heapsreal, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Its not for everyone but it shows its not dangerous as we are lead to believe??

    http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/low-carb-dieting.html

    The myths about low carb dieting and specifically ketogenic diets abound in the American collective consciousness. These are just a few of the most pervasive myths I've encountered, with explanations as to why they are incorrect and simply don't make sense, scientifically:


    Myth 1: Carbs are an essential nutrient for good health.

    This is the favorite phrase of the American Dietetic Association members. But as much as they like to repeat this, it's just not true scientifically. Essential nutrients are nutrients which your body cannot make, so they have to be obtained on a daily basis from your food sources.

    [​IMG]
    There are essential proteins, and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Your body can make all the carbohydrate it needs from protein and the glycerol that is part of fatty acids. However, the fact that they aren't essential doesn't mean that everyone should stop eating them completely.
    There are people who can tolerate eating large amounts of carbohydrates on a daily basis. However, there are also people who can't. These people have a low tolerance for carbohydrates, and if they eat large quantities of them, they develop metabolic disorders like insulin resistance and diabetes.
    If you can eat that many carbohydrates without developing any metabolic issues, go for it. I'm just saying that humans can get by without eating carbs and continue to maintain perfect health, because the body can use ketone bodies from fatty acids for fuel, if no carbohydrates are eaten.

    And here's an interesting fact: Dietitans rely heavily on the Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients)(2005) in providing nutritional advice. But even this publication says on page 275:
    "The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed."​
    Myth 2: There's a danger of vitamin deficiencies with low carbohydrate diets. You definitely won't get enough Vitamin C.

    Not true, see my Facts about Vitamins page and my Vitamin C Deficiency page.
    Myth 3: Ketogenic diets cause your body to go into ketosis, which is dangerous.

    Not true, the person who says this is confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis. For more information, see my ketosis and ketoacidosis pages.
    Myth 4: Your kidneys will sustain damage from the high protein consumption.

    Whenever someone says this, I know they have never read any of the low carb, ketogenic diet books available. They are just parroting what they've heard from someone else. Low carb diets, and especially ketogenic diets, are NOT high protein diets. The are HIGH FAT diets, with moderate protein consumption. And, anyway, if you are healthy with no prior kidney disease, eating extra protein will NOT harm your kidneys. See this study.
    Myth 5: A low carb, high protein diet will cause the body to excrete calcium, and result in osteoporosis.

    As stated in Myth 4, a ketogenic diet is NOT a high protein diet. It's a high fat, moderate protein diet. Regardless of that fact, protein consumption is essential for good bone health. This paper indicates that in addition to calcium in the presence of adequate vitamin D, proteins are a key nutrient in the prevention of osteoporosis. In addition, the paper states that low protein intake is often observed in patients with hip fractures and that a deficiency in dietary protein causes marked deterioration of bone mass and strength. So, in fact, a higher protein intake correlates to a stronger, denser bones. This paper and this paper also support these statements.
    So what does cause bone loss? There are several suspects:


    Myth 6: A high fat, ketogenic diet will clog your arteries and give you heart disease.

    This, I think is the biggest myth associated with low carb, ketogenic diets. It's based on the lie that saturated fat and cholesterol cause arteriosclerosis and heart disease. There has never been any scientific study published or unpublished which links cholesterol and saturated fat to heart disease. Shocking but true. In fact, this 2010 meta-analysis distinctly destroys any link between heart disease and saturated fat.
    And this study showed that low carb diets actually improve heart disease markers over other types of diets.

    And here's another study which looks directly at how a ketogenic diet favorably affects blood test results for heart disease.
    And one more recent study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine confirms that a higher fat, low carb diet is not detrimental to vascular health AND results in faster weight loss.
    The authors confirmed that
    "Low-carb dieters showed no harmful vascular changes, but also on average dropped 10 pounds in 45 days, compared to an equal number of study participants randomly assigned to a low-fat diet. The low-fat group, whose diets consisted of no more than 30 percent from fat and 55 percent from carbs, took on average nearly a month longer, or 70 days, to lose the same amount of weight."​

    In contrast, there are tons of studies showing that a high carbohydrate diet and elevated blood sugar and insulin are highly associated with inflammatory heart disease. For instance, consider a blood test called the Hemoglobin A1C (i.e., the HbA1c). It's basically a measure of your average blood sugars for the 3 months preceding the test.
    In the EPIC study, the authors looked at the relationship between the Hemoglobin A1c test results and the risk of heart attack. The results were very clear: the higher a person's HbA1c levels, (i.e., the higher the average blood sugars) the higher the risk of heart attack. See this post and the study results here.
    Myth 7: Antioxidants and phytonutrients from plants are important for good health, and a ketogenic diet lacks these chemicals.

    Incorrect. See my Antioxidant Foods page.
    Myth 8: Complex Carbohydrates are the "good carbs" and it's healthy to include them in your diet.

    Not so much. See my Complex Carbs page.
    Myth #9: Low carb diets cause muscle wasting.

    Not true. In fact, low carb diets are better at preserving and even increasing lean muscle mass. In this study published in 1984, a team of scientists from MIT and Harvard studied two groups of overweight women. They put one group on a low carb diet, and the other group on a high carb diet. Each diet allowed 700 calories per day. Even with a severe caloric deficit, the greater percentage of protein consumed on the low carb diet and the effects of ketosis resulted in a greater retention of muscle mass for the subjects on the low carb diet. In other words, the subjects on the high carb diet loss more muscle mass because the carbs they were eating displaced some of the protein that would have helped them retain muscle mass.
    This phenomenon of how dietary protein helps the body retain muscle mass has been shown many times over in various studies on very low calorie diets which include adequate protein and muscle building substrates such as sodium and potassium. See this study, this study, and this study.

    This general "muscle wasting" assertion often comes from trainers and dietitians who really have not studied the science on muscle preservation. They will tell you that the brain requires at least 100 grams of carb per day and if you don't get those carbs in the diet, your body will break down your muscles to get it. This is true when one's diet is high carb, and no ketone bodies are available as an alternative source of brain fuel.
    But for a person who is adapted to a low carb, ketogenic diet, ketosis provides fuel in the form of ketone bodies for the brain, and the requirement for glucose drops to only about 40 grams per day. The body can easily make this amount from dietary protein and glycerol from the break down of fatty acids.
    Myth #10: The weight loss from low carb, ketogenic diets is not real. It’s only water loss.

    It is true that in the initial week or so of a ketogenic diet, some of the weight loss will be water loss, as your body adapts to the new lower carb diet, and gets busy re-engineering the cellular enzymes needed to burn fat instead of carbohydrate for fuel.
    It has been known for years that fasting in general, and cutting carbohydrate intake (which is a milder form of fasting, metabolically speaking) results in water loss because blood sugar, insulin, and glycogen stores (excess sugar stored in your muscles and liver) are reduced. As blood sugar and insulin levels come down, the kidneys dump excess water and sodium from the body.
    Put another way, water retention and high blood pressure are common side effects of a high carb diet, because a high carb diet causes the kidneys to retain salt, which causes the body to retain water. Going on a low carb, ketogenic diet is an excellent way to reduce water retention and blood pressure.
    After a week or so on a ketogenic diet, your body will become “keto-adapted”, and water loss will stabilize, as long as you are getting enough sodium and other minerals to replace the ones lost in the bathroom. At this point, fat loss accelerates and becomes the primary source of fuel.

    The water loss effects of dizziness and weakness at the beginning of a low carb diet can be avoided by making sure you get plenty of salt (at least 5g/day) and extra potassium and magnesium in your diet.
    In the MIT/Harvard study discussed previously, the low carb group participants were given 5 grams of salt each day to offset the natural loss associated with lower carb consumption. Note that there was no difference in water loss between the low carb and the high carb group at the conclusion of the study, and both groups lost the same amount of weight.
    In addition, this survey showed that in just one low carb internet group, over 1400 people had lost weight and kept if off using a low carb diet.

    Myth #11: Low carb, ketogenic diets are low in fiber, and so detrimental to your colon.


    Incorrect. People who follow ketogenic diets eat more fibrous vegetables than they did when following the standard American diet. In fact, fibrous vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and salads make up a large part of the carb calories allowed on a ketogenic diet. See the results of this survey.

    That's my stab at trying to kill the most pervasive low carb dieting myths. I encourage you to read the information and links I've included and decide for yourself if low carb dieting is unhealthy.
     
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  2. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

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    I had a doc tell me to eliminate animal fats for 3 months and eat two meals a day to help with non alcoholic fatty liver. I ended up making home-made soups (many vegetables - no potatoes or corn - with mixture of beans, peas, other legumes). Also take in the occasional tablespoon or two of all natural peanut butter (just peanuts, no sugar). So, the diet is pretty solid complex carbs, not a drastic low-carb, but there are also no simple carbs in there. And no fruit at all.

    Prior to much of this, I had terrible carb cravings and gained about 30 lbs in a month or two (like I could of had a feed bag of sugar strapped to my head). At some point they found hypothyroidism.

    I think this was fine, as The Fight Against Fatty Liver Disease states (bolding added):
    Other sources state similar, although a few specifically recommend low carb:

    1) Low-Carbohydrate Diet Burns More Excess Liver Fat Than Low-Calorie Diet, Clinical Study Finds

    2) Fatty Liver Disease and Ketogenic Diets

    3) Low carbohydrate diet very quickly effective for getting fat out of the liver sites a small study that shows:
    However, I am wondering what is really considered low-carb. I think anyone would consider 20 g /day low carb, but I have also read up to 75-80 g was also considered low carb and even "A daily limit of less than 150 g of carbohydrates is typically considered a low-carb diet." I have also herd that any low carb, will eventually take one into ketogenic state, it just being a matter of time.

    For me, it seems difficult to get enough fiber in 20 g carb/day (and things like psyllium husk get old quickly), as had seen myself eating mostly steak, eggs, fish and cheese, with the token broccoli, and some other vegetables in there that do not seem to offset the constipating function of the high-protein foods.

    So, just wondering it anyone has a take on how low is low carb and where a "sweet spot" may exist to get into, not just a temporary fatty liver lowering plan, but one that is easily and effectively continued throughout life.
     
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Most people who eat what they want i think would easily eat a few hundred grams of carbs. so 100 is low but then its individual thing as to what is the best level of carbs and found through trial and error.

    I found my triglycerides dropped right down when i started low carbing and read that this is a bigger risk factor then cholesterol. my cholesterol also came down but not until recently had it dropped into the normal range which i think had alot to do with treating adrenal dysfunction.

    Something i find interesting is that very little cholesterol is taken in by food, cholesterol is made by the liver. cholesterol meds work by stopping the liver making cholesterol. Now sometimes cholesterol is high due to hormonal/adrenal dysfunction and cholesterol which many docs say is bad for u is actually what your body uses to make hormones and repair cells, i think in cfs/me with all the oxidative stress and adrenal dysfunction, the body tries to 'fix' these things by making the liver increase cholesterol production to try and make more hormones and fix damaged cells.

    There seems to be an a cross over between adrenal dysfunction, thyroid and insulin sensitivity(which low carbs help). sorting those things out can reduce ones risk factors for heart disease. Also cholesterol is only dangerous if it oxidizes to blood vessel walls, so a variety of antioxidants can reduce the dangers of cholesterol and heart disease.

    There is also ways to eat low carb and keep fats somewhat lower as well, just takes abit more work.

    I think the whole low fat stuff has brain washed alot of people and u have to look who benefits from recommending low fat diets, coca cola, bakeries etc etc really its all highly refined stuff.

    If it runs around on the ground, eat it. if it hangs off a tree and is in season, eat it. if it comes out of the ground, eat it. if it comes out of a packet DONT eat it. thats the nuts and bolts anyway??
     
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    if u buy the atkins diet revolution book. it explains how the first 2 weeks carbs are kept as low as posiible and he explains that u can measure ketones on a urine testing strip u get from a pharmacy. he mentions adding 5 grams of carbs every 3 days(from memory) and keep doing this until no ketones are produced. That level of carbs u eat just before u stop making ketones is the amount of carbs he recommends and is different to everyone.

    I just kept my carbs really low most of the time, once in awhile i would eat some carbs and then i would be ultra scrict for a few days. As i have lost weight i have found i can tol;erate more carbs. i dont eat alot of carbs anyway as i just feel alot better on protein/fat foods and it doesnt make u feel hungry all the time like when i use to eat carbs. There is a big choice of low carb protein bars i find helpful too, sometimes i find myself only needing to eat 2 meals a day and a few protein bars in between.
     
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  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    What is low carb? Think typical diabetic diets. They are low carb diets. There are thou some of us thou in which a low carb diabetic diet is far to high in carbs. I spent a while having less then 15g of carb per day (eg one of the stages of Atkins diet). As far as the ketogenic state goes, that actually varies with the person. Some may need to be taking as little as 15g per day to hit that state (Im one who dont easily go into that state at all). That "sweet spot" is different in each individual.
     
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  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    The Atkins Diet has a great site online if you look it up.. so you probably can skip the book and check out their site. I used to use that site a lot.
     
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  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I might try going low carb again, after I have my tilt table test (in 3 hours, eek!) and I can get back on Strattera. I'd tried dieting a bit previously since getting ill, but cutting back on ANYTHING (fats, carbs, calories) just made me feel like dog crap. But my appetite seems a lot more normal on Strattera, so maybe something will work now.
     
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  8. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

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    Yep, this has kind of inspired me to go low carb again. Good luck with the TTT, I have one later this week.

    Here is a link to the Atkins site taniaaust1 mentioned. heapsreal - any preference on test strips - is there a difference?
     
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    all u want is testing strips that measure ketones which u should be able to get locally quite cheap, light purple to dark purple indicates the degree of ketosis, if its not purple then not in ketosis, but this is not always neccessary to lose weight, really just a means to find your carbohydrate tolerance??
     
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  10. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I have just had a consultation with Dr Myhill and she suggests that my inflammed stomach and gastritis is being caused by a fermenting upper gut and that i muct eat a NO carb diet (apart from thiose occuring in vegetables) She suggests i do it very very slowly - at the moment i am eating everything, including large amounts of sugar (Again) She thinks it should take a couple of months to reach no carbs (also no dairy for me) and i am a veggie!

    She says i can eat pulses as i dont eat meat - but i do now eat fish and also she says lots of eggs. But the most important thing i hadnt realised was not to eat lots of protein, but to replace the carbs with fats - coconut oil, butter (or Ghee is better) and cold olive oil - also LOTS of nuts, seeds etc.

    I think its going to be painful (yikes!)
     
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  11. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    I really wonder about all of this.

    First I think that we should eat for nutrition, especially those of us who are sick. So that means toss out all the junk food and eat only those foods that provide nutrients (both macronutrients--as in protein, carbohydrate and fats; and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals). We should eat as close to the whole food as possible and skip all the processed and convenience foods that we can. If we do those things, many of us will feel a lot better.

    Secondly, we should take a look at any food intolerances that may have developed due to our being sick. Infections can affect the gut and cause food intolerances, so it would be good for all of us to examine this issue. Two books that I recommend are: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Allergies-Intolerance-Identification-Treatment/dp/0892818751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354650342&sr=8-1&keywords=food allergies and food intolerance

    and: http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Food-Allergies-Practical-Detecting/dp/092352164X

    If food intolerances are found, then avoid those foods.

    Finally, it seems that some of us prefer vegetarian type foods and some prefer meat type foods. It has been shown that vegetarians (or those who are mostly vegetarian and eat some fish) live longer and healthier lives. See: http://www.llu.edu/public-health/health/previous.page and http://www.bluezones.com/live-longer/education/expeditions/okinawa-japan/ But, if someone wants to eat differently, to each his own.

    In general, just try to get the most nutrients per calorie that you can.

    I like this website: http://nutritionfacts.org/

    Best, Timaca
     
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  12. Sherrie

    Sherrie

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    hehe I've been running a low carb site for many years, it's definitely not dangerous imo. Considering most people seem to go on meal replacement diets or very low calorie diets, often prescribed by their doctors!!! Now that's what I would be more worried about!
     
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  13. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    So this could be bad for those of us with orthostatic problems, no? My BP already goes quite low sometimes - I sure don't want it to go lower.

    I get $200 a month in food stamps, so that's all I can spend on food, period. That means very little processed food, meat once a month, fresh/frozen fish never, no nuts. I really like walnuts, but at nearly $10 a pound, they might as well be gold plated. So it's a real challenge to find food I can afford, that doesn't bother my gut, and doesn't take a lot of effort to prepare. Like other folks here, I can no longer tolerate and/or afford many foods I used to eat regularly.

    A very interesting article, obviously aimed at typical Americans in big trouble with their weight and diet. I trust the author singles out high fructose corn syrup for special criticism. Someday that stuff will be declared toxic waste.

    Have fun on the tilt table! For me, the strangest part was when the table went back to horizontal, I could've sworn I was standing on my head, LOL
     
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  14. a2mandel

    a2mandel

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    Hi Sherrie, can you give us a link to your low carb site?
     
  15. Sherrie

    Sherrie

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    Hello a2mandel :)

    I'm not really sure what the rules are here and running a forum myself have in intense dislike for spam so I don't really want to spam my link here as that's not why I am here :)
     

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