Low Carbohydrate - is it for you?

At the time of writing almost everyday there’s something in the newspapers, magazines or the newest book telling us the benefits of a Low Carbohydrate diet.  Benefits include weight loss, improved markers for blood sugar, even a reversal of Type 2 Diabetes.  With whats’s being called an epidemic in Obesity levels most worryingly in children and young adults it’s worth giving some serious thought to this information.

Since the 1950’s and maybe earlier fat in our diet has been demonised.  Low fat high Carbohydrate diets have been promoted as the most healthy way to stay in shape – it’s difficult to buy a full fat yogurt these days.  It’s because we’ve been so – I hesitate to use the word “brainwashed” into believing fat makes us fat that accepting the science behind the efficacy of a low Carbohydrate regime has taken so long.

I think we can all agree that eat less, move more as a long term weight loss idea hasn’t worked.  It works for a while but eventually the weight creeps back – that old joke about losing fat but it keep find me would appear to be true!  The problem is Insulin.  Insulin is the main hormone driving weight gain.  Every time we eat, our Insulin levels are triggered to process the food for energy – Glucose (sugar)  Once this is activated then fat burning stops.  When sufficient glucose has been processed for the body’s needs any excess is stored as fat.

These days with easy access to food and snacking our Insulin levels can remain high for most of the time.  The result of this is Insulin resistance which leads to Obesity, Abdominal fat storage, high glucose levels, low levels of good cholesterol and potentially Type 2 Diabetes.  By reducing our sugar intake at the same time restricting the times we are eating (intermittent fasting) we are giving our body time to re-regulate any Insulin sensitivity.  The combination of time restricted eating and a low carb diet will allow the body to become fat adapted – meaning it will burn fat more easily.

Carbohydrates are an important factor in a healthy body – the problem is our digestive system converts some of them to sugar in the process – white bread, pasta, rice as well as processed foods are the culprits.  Cut back or eliminate these and you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Suggested Reading – Fat for Fuel, Dr. Joseph Mercola, The Lore of Nutrition, Professor Tim Noakes