Low Carb – Is it the cure for Obesity and Diabetes.
Watch Catalyst on i view – ‘low carb diet – Fact or fiction’.
Is fat healthy or unhealthy? Red meat –YES or NO
Serious measures are needed to combat obesity and diabetes but is ‘Low Carb’ the answer. Eating protein and healthy fat with low GI veges and salad reduces blood glucose and insulin levels and takes you into fat burning mode instead of fat storage mode which is great for diabetes and weight loss. Low insulin is paramount for weight loss and longevity. Cutting out grains and eating a low GI diet is good but maybe a low carb diet is too extreme. If you cut out cakes, biscuits and sugary breakfast cereals it’s a great thing because these junk foods now make up 35 per cent of our diet but should we restrict vegetable carbs and add more fat.
Fat is only a problem if eaten with carbohydrates- when you eat fat on its own very little is converted to fat storage (palmitate fat) unless the person is using glucose to make fat at the same time. Eating fat and sugar together is super fattening and addictive. The less sugar and starch the better.
Fats- the good the bad and the ugly. Healthy fats are marvellous and important especially for brain health and hormones. When eating saturated fats care must be taken to ensure the animal comes from clean, grass fed and organic sources (free of pesticides and hormones) . Excessive unsaturated vegetable oils found in commercial vegetable oils and salad dressings and heated oils and trans fats in our diets and in all junk food promote inflammation and carcinogenicity. The media interest and education about healthy fats and avoidance of toxic fats is wonderful. It really is easy to eat olive oil, flaxseed oil, butter and coconut oil and avoid the rest. But, only if you cook most of your own food. To be realistic I wonder how many people will add organic liver and bone marrow to their meals as Peter Evens does. ’Yeh’ to him, but impractical for most people.
There is no doubt that primitive and traditional cultures thrived on fresh, lean meats that jumped and ran around. Aboriginal peoples used emu oil and ate fatty mutton bird. It was organic and not heated. These people ate the whole animal – liver, stomach, brains ( high omega 3) whereas we tend to eat only the muscle.
In our society eating a Paleo style diet it can be a problem if you include too much fatty red and processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and ham that contain forms of sodium and nitrates that have been shown to shorten life.
A very low carb diet with protein and fat may not suit everyone. One size does not fit all. From the gene testing I do with Smart DNA I see people with high risk genes for diabetes who thrive on a Paleo style diet with moderate protein, vegetable fats and loads of low GI vegetables. On the other hand 25% of the population have genes for high cholesterol and require a low fat diet of 25 % fats. Others need more fat (35%) there is no telling unless you do the gene profiling test. Some people genetically have low antioxidants and that combined with a low vegetable diet can increase their risk of cancer.
A low Carb diet that is LOW in vegetables and fibre will reduce the number and variety of gut bacteria. Hunter Gatherers have great diversity of bacteria because the roots they ate were tough and the fibrous foods that fed the gut bacteria – with immune and mental health boosting effect.
In conclusion our genes are the same as the Paleo people. We are Stone Age people living in a modern world so this style of eating is perfect but unfortunately it is difficult to replicate. Diets rich in a variety of vegetables and good fats are the way to go, together with healthy protein sources like fish, chicken, eggs, some red meat including organic liver and yes bone marrow.