Last month I posted about low carb muffins! and promised to do a piece this month about something that’s becoming increasingly popular….
LOW CARB DIETS!
So Low Carb/High Fat diet any good?…..
….per se yes/no, but it depends…. like a lot of science stuff….
Carbohydrates…AKA Carbs, are they good or bad? Carb consumption is a controversial subject. Low-carb dieters often claim that high carbohydrate intake drives insulin resistance, weight gain and obesity.
Fat on the other hand doesn’t have or has very little effect on insulin levels. Whilst protein does, though not to the extent that carbs do. Then again not all carbs are created equal.
Simple sugars will get a very quick and high elevation of insulin; whilst say vegetables will give a more measured release.
The insulin hypothesis states that carbohydrates especially refined carbs, elevate circulating insulin and that insulin drives us to store more fat.
However a number of cultures can remain lean with high carb diets; some suggesting insulin resistance to be a consequence and not a cause of fat gain.
Insulin response appears to be greater in the morning that in the evening. That is, a high and longer maintained insulin response in the morning compared to the same foods eaten in the afternoon/evening (intermittent fasting takes advantage of this response).
Insulin does play a role in modern day obesity, as does the type of carbs we ingest, compared to food stuffs our ancestors ate. But to suggest that all carbs are bad because they elevate insulin doesn’t make sense.
I remember being brought up on having a walk, or mild form of exercise following a meal. Studies now show that this can have a positive effect on insulin response ie not as elevated and for a shorter period, following a meal. Although physical activity improves our metabolic health and allows us to consume a larger amount of energy and carbohydrates without getting fat, for most people anaerobic (weight training) or aerobic (aerobics) is not very effective for losing weight. For most people the expenditure of energy in physical activity bring with it a bigger appetite!
The great success of having a diet low in carbs high/higher in fats depends on the nature of the carbs eliminated. Eliminate refined simple carbs.
Increase good saturated animal fats from organic/free range animals – as nature and our evolutionary path dictated.
Eliminate processed foods. They are loaded with unhealthy trans fat, sugars and refined salt devoid of any natural vitamins or minerals – the more it looks like man has touched it, the more it should be avoided. Most modern diets are far less satiating than simple whole foods!
Many people have better digestion when removing wheat or grains from their diets (not everyone – it depends on gut bacteria, and how those food stuffs are prepared et soaking, fermented etc).
Gut bacteria plays an essential role in regulating our body weight. Obesity is characterized by imbalances in gut bacteria. Refined, simple carbs and reduced fiber creates imbalances, inflammation and insulin resistance – which then drives increase fat gain.
If the carbs that you are eliminating are simple refined ones – this will aid good health and fat loss.
If the fats you are eating are healthy animal derived saturated from free range/organic fed/raised animals – this will aid good health and fat loss.
If one eats the majority of fats in the morning, and the majority of carbs in the evening – this will aid good health and fat loss.
If you consume massive amounts of calories above maintenance levels, of good wholesome food stuffs – this may not be good for fat loss!