April 25, 2019, 12:48:02 pm

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Why Low Carb - High Fat

Newly diagnosed diabetics often find themselves lost in a vast ocean of conflicting information about how to lower their blood sugar levels. Unless their medical team is open-minded and on the nutritional cutting edge about these things, they'll be prescribing various medications and, for dietary guidance, pointing patients in the direction of the American Diabetes Association or corresponding agencies in whichever country they reside. These agencies all seem to be of the same mind - they all know that carbs raise blood sugar, but they continue to advise varying degrees of high-carb diabetes diets. This is supposedly based on the premise that certain functions of our brains require glucose, which means to them, that carbs are required for the manufacture of said glucose.

What these so-called experts forget to tell us is that whatever small amount of glucose is necessary for that brain function - and it's only about 5% - can be manufactured in our own livers by a process known as gluconeogenesis: a metabolic pathway capable of generating glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. And the biggest fact to remember in all of this, is that of the three macronutrients, protein and fat are essential to good health and well-being. Carbohydrate is NOT an essential nutrient, and contributes nothing to health and good nutrition that cannot be found in dark leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, etc., and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, etc.

So now that we have our glucose needs covered without eating carbs, we need to address another important glucose function - it provides fuel for energy. When we reduce the amount of glucose in our bloodstream, we may find ourselves feeling weak, lethargic, dizzy & headachy; we may even be nauseous, irritable & experience brain fog. You could have heard this referred to as carb flu or induction flu after the low-carb diet first promoted by Dr. Robert Atkins.

The way to mitigate these symptoms is to replace dietary carbohydrate with fat. Lots of fat. The metabolism of fat creates compounds called ketone bodies, which serve at least as well as glucose in providing all the energy human bodies can possibly need. But to persuade our bodies to make the switch, we must lower carbs as much as possible, and increase fats commensurately. This may mean using as little as 5% of dietary calories for carbs, and as much as 85% for fats. The remaining percentage would be allotted to protein, which is needed for building, maintenance & repair of cells, but can also elevate blood sugar if ingested in higher quantities than the body needs.

This way of eating is referred to as low-carb/high-fat or LCHF, and has been found to be an excellent program for everyone - not only diabetics. Your entire family can benefit from it, while you enjoy lower and more stable blood sugar, energy you haven't had for years, and weight loss you thought would never happen. You very likely will also see improvement in other ailments like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, digestive maladies like GERD, and even allergies.