Friday, 4 December 2015

Low-carbohydrate High-fat diets: Green flags and Red flags.

Fun with flags. But first, a poem!

Atkins Antidote

Eating low carbohydrate what threat that poses

Do my friends think I’m suffering from halitosis?

I’ve got these sticks for measuring ketoacidosis

I’m taking supplements but I don’t know what the dose is

I’m trying hard to keep in a state of ketosis

I’m not sure what the right amount of weight to lose is

I’m sure I’ve put on a pound just through osmosis

Is eating this way risking osteoporosis

Are my kidneys wrestling with metabolic acidosis

My store of liver glycogen I don’t know how low is

Who knows what the glycemic load of oats is

Does anyone know if I can eat samosas?

Ian Turnbull

I do. The answer's "No!" :-D

The Green flags...

1. For a person with Insulin Resistance, an ad-libitum low-carb diet results in more weight loss than an ad-libitum high-carb diet.

See How low-carbohydrate diets result in more weight loss than high-carbohydrate diets for people with Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes , for an explanation.

2. For a person with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), a lowish-carb (~100g/day), highish fat diet results in minimal disturbances to blood glucose levels and minimal bolus insulin doses.

See Diabetes: which are the safest carbohydrates? , to see which foods should comprise the ~100g/day. N.B. As ~50% of dietary proteins can be converted into glucose by gluconeogenesis, ~100g/day of slow-digesting proteins such as meats, eggs & cheeses can contribute ~50g/day of glucose towards the ~100g/day total.

3. For a person with LADA or MODY, see 2.

4. For a person with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), a LCLF 600kcal/day Protein Sparing Modified Fast can normalise BG in 1 week and reverse T2DM in 8 weeks (provided there are sufficient surviving pancreatic beta-cells).

"After 1 week of restricted energy intake, fasting plasma glucose normalised in the diabetic group (from 9.2 ± 0.4 to 5.9 ± 0.4 mmol/l; p = 0.003)."

"Maximal insulin response became supranormal at 8 weeks (1.37 ± 0.27 vs controls 1.15 ± 0.18 nmol min−1 m−2)."

After 8 weeks, transition to a diet based on whole, minimally-refined animal & vegetable produce.

See also

As Insulin Resistance is multi-factorial, ALL of the potential causes need to be addressed. Once this has been done, IR should be reversed, allowing restrictions on dietary carbohydrate intake to be lifted. See also Can supplements & exercise cure Type 2 diabetes?

The Red flags...

The low-carb diet is a temporary patch to ameliorate IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM, a bit like replacing a failed circuit-breaker by sticking a nail in its place, to allow the house to function while you fix the problem by buying a new circuit-breaker. Although the house functions fine with a nail in place of a circuit-breaker, you wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life without a working circuit-breaker protecting the house.

So, why do low-carbers seem to want to spend the rest of their lives using a temporary patch to ameliorate their IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM?

Long-term use of very-low-carb, very-high-fat diets is not recommended.

1. Cortisol level can gradually increase, resulting in increasing fasting BG level. See How eating sugar & starch can lower your insulin needs and Survival of the Smartest (part 2) - Dr Diana Schwarzbein.

2. If you do too much high-intensity exercise, you may momentarily black-out, fall and hurt yourself. See "Funny turns": What they aren't and what they might be.

3. Some people seem to gradually go bat-shit crazy. See Can very-low-carb diets impair your mental faculties? Read the comments in Do the behaviours of Ivor Cummins & Gearóid Ó Laoi seem normal to you?

4. Insulin Resistance is bad, mmm-kay? See Lifestyle-induced metabolic inflexibility and accelerated ageing syndrome: insulin resistance, friend or foe?

5. Dyseverything elseaemia isn't addressed. See Type 2 diabetes: between a rock and a hard place , Type 2 diabetes: your good signalling's gonna go bad and When the only tool in the box is a hammer.

6. Dietary deficiencies may develop. See Rigid diets & taking loadsa supplements to compensate for them.

7. High-fat diets with no energy deficit result in high postprandial TG's. Postprandial lipaemia is atherogenic. See Ultra-high-fat (~80%) diets: The good, the bad and the ugly.

There may be more but I'm knackered, so I'm Publishing!

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