Objectives of Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) and Ketogenic way of eating
- Prevent/deal with Metabolic syndrome caused by Insulin resistance as a way of preventing damage to the cell walls (as it is the case in type II diabetes) and the veins and organs (as it is the case in type I diabetes, heart disease, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and many other metabolic syndromes and disease)
- Provide adequate nutrients to the body without triggering too much insulin production in order to achieve satiety (satiation), a sustainable way to lose weight and avoid sugars and carbohydrates. The idea is that the more you eat sugars and carbs, the more will be the insulin production and the promotion of hunger; a vicious circle that is the reason most weight loss efforts fail.
- Understand that saturated fats are not the enemy rather the polyunsaturated fats with high omega6:3 ratio, in mainly industrial seeds and vegetable oils, are the problem and inflammatory in nature. Animal fats are what we evolved on and our brain contains 20% of body’s cholesterol. There has been several large, well done studies associating low fat diet with higher all cause mortality, specially in elderly.
Also see What, Why and How
The idea in Ketogenic diet is to lower carbohydrates (including sugars) enough (~15-20% of daily calorie intake) to reach ketosis, a metabolic state in which body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs and become fat adapted. This can lead to nutritional ketoses that can help with managing and even treating metabolic diseases.
There are many sources and website aimed at explaining and guiding through a ketogenic diet but many are also trying to sell products that while low carb, may not be healthy. A good practice would be to try to stick with what we traditionally called food; meats, eggs, dairy, vegetables and not to consume someone’s cocktail of “ingredients” that our body may not know what to do with.
Here is an image from DietDoctor comparing carbohydrates contents of non-starchy vegetables with that of the e.g. a hamburger bun!
LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat)
Similar to a ketogenic diet but the goal may or not be to reach ketosis, rather to lower insulin production and prevent insulin resistance. This diet helps to prevent many metabolic diseases before the symptoms appear. There is often years of inflammation and metabolic syndromes before metabolic diseases are diagnosed. A LCHF diet can prevent these and heal some of the initial damages before they become irreversible.
Paleo diet is based on what we ate (or think we ate) in paleolithic period as hunter-gatherers. The diet contains many of what is in ketogenic and LCHF diets but is not limiting carbs as such. It is excluding packaged foods (no big food/pharma back then:-), grains and modern day inventions like artificial sweeteners and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).
I don’t personally find paleo diet scientifically based but as a general rule, it is always helpful to think what we, as a species, have been eating throughout our existence and what our bodies have evolved to use for fuel.
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