Low Carb High Fat …

Get ready to read a lot of packets and do a lot of home cooking.

What’s in?

Meat, seafood, eggs, full-fat dairy, above ground vegetables, nuts, avocados and in moderation dark chocolate, berries and dry wine.

What’s out?

The bottom layer of the food pyramid!

Starches (including bread), sweets, processed meats, low fat or sweetened dairy, high sugar fruits.

Orthodoxy would have it otherwise …

The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR) are 45–65% of your daily calories from carbs, 20–35% from fats and 10–35% from protein. (healthline.com).

Ancel Keys is a goliath of the orthodoxy. His rather sketchy epidemiologic research into diet and heart disease pointed the finger at saturated fat as the cause. In 1977 a US Senate Committee issued the Dietary Goals for the United States which became the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The American Heart Association was on board but Philip Handler, President of the National Academy of Science had this to say,

What right has the federal government to propose that the American people conduct a vast nutritional experiment, with themselves as subjects, on the face of so little evidence?

Heart disease hasn’t gone away, obesity and type 2 diabetes have soared.

There is a great deal of inertia in that orthodoxy but it is slowly crumbling under the onslaught of evidence. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with getting your calories from fat. It satisfies hunger without sending insulin levels through the roof. For some of us it may be the best option, at least for a while.

The way to plan your meals is simple. First pick your protein source aiming for roughly 1.5 grams per kilogram of your reference weight (life tables previous post). Next add a couple of serves of above ground veggies. Finally some fat stuff like avacado or nuts.

So that could be a chunk of meat with the fat on and two veg. Sounds just like the meals my mother used to cook and there weren’t many fat kids around back then.

There are any number of resources online and a shelf-full of cook books at the shop. Look for keto or LCHF, checkout Low Carb Australia on Youtube.

It is powerful stuff and it will change your biochemistry. If you are on anti-hypertensives, anti-diabetic agents including insulin, pregnant or breast feeding medical supervision is needed.


Picking and Choosing ..

Chances are the short term goal is weight loss but for all of us the long term goal has to be a healthy diet. What would be the properties of an ideal diet? For starters as it were …

  • macronutrients -protein, fat, carbohydrate in the right proportions
  • micronutrients
  • taste good
  • hunger satisfied
  • ill effects avoided
  • weight maintained

I would love to have you refine that outline, hit the comments.

The first problem is to know what the ideal balance of the big three would be. A varied diet of whole foods will supply the micronutrients unless of course you decide to leave out the dead animals in which case some supplementation is needed. Most food tastes good. Get thee behind me hunger. Ill effects are everywhere, beware the FODMAPS, gluten, emulsifiers maybe everything. And the holy grail – weight.

Next thread a passage through the evangelical adherents pushing various species of diet with missionary zeal.

Should we aim for the diet of our hunter gatherer forebears, a wholegrain version of the agricultural diet or is the industrial diet the go? Is it really that hard?

Here now is the fortune cooky guide to dieting …

What do you need to achieve? If you are at peace with your diet and your weight you are doing fine. Enjoy. By at peace I don’t mean defiantly refusing to be fat shamed. Do think of the future and keep off the processed foods. I see real foods and home cooking in your very long future.

Two or three kilos too many? Is that all? I envy you. Any of the weight loss diets will shift that. Transition to a whole food regime add some exercise to stay on track. The warning has been sounded though. Step on the scales once a week.

Under weight? Especially in the older age group … have a chat with your doctor.

And now it’s all about me. And maybe you.

The fat is packed around the viscera. The tape measure has spoken. Business as usual means a descent into diabetes, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease and kids enjoying their inheritance too young to manage it wisely. Why surrender?

The body can burn glucose or it can burn fat. When it’s well it can burn a mixture but generally one or the other . When there is insulin resistance fasting insulin levels stay high. Fat cannot be metabolised. Your diet is relatively high in carbohydrate. On any day when calories in equals calories out your weight stays the same. On days when you are behind on the intake your brain tells you to catch up, insistently. You do. Go over on the calories and you lay down some fat. Your weight can only ratchet up. Insulin resistance is in the driving seat.

So lets burn fat and the only way to do that is to curtail the carbs.

LCHF stands for low carb high fat. Protein stays mid range at or about 1.5 grams per kg of reference weight. (That’s the weight from the life insurance tables not the weight you are now). The pancreas will not be working so hard, gluconeogenesis will top up the glucose, the brain will be running on ketones, birds will sing and the sky will be blue.

Ideal Weight Tables

Metropolitan Life Insurance 1959.