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 is the case in type II diabetes) and the veins and organs (as it is the type case 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 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 insulin production and the promotion of hunger, a vicious circle that is why most weight loss efforts fail.
- Understand that saturated fats are not the enemy; instead, 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 the body’s cholesterol. Several large, well-done studies have associated a low-fat diet with higher all-cause mortality, especially in the elderly.
Also see What, Why and How
The idea in the Ketogenic diet is to lower carbohydrates (including sugars) enough (~15-20% of daily calorie intake) to reach ketosis, a metabolic state in which the 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 websites 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 stick with what we traditionally called food; meats, eggs, dairy, and vegetables, and not consume someone’s cocktail of “ingredients” that our body may not know what to do with.
LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat)
Like a ketogenic diet, the goal may or may not be to reach ketosis instead, lowering insulin production and preventing insulin resistance. This diet helps to prevent many metabolic diseases before the symptoms appear. There are often years of inflammation and metabolic syndromes before metabolic diseases are diagnosed. An LCHF diet can prevent and heal some of the initial damages before they become irreversible.
The Paleo diet is based on what we ate (or think we ate) in the paleolithic period as hunter-gatherers. The diet contains many of what is in ketogenic and LCHF diets but does not limit carbs. It excludes 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 the paleo diet scientifically based. Still, as a general rule, it is always helpful to think about 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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