Today it is time for me to get in the role of answering questions, and my invisible friend will be asking them! Our conversation is gonna revolve around low-carb, high-fat diets; common myths about them and the use of a ketogenic diet!
Q: Ok, last week I think I understood why a high fat diet isn’t going to raise my cholesterol and that it is insulin I should watch like a hawk. I’ve been thinking a lot to start eating a high fat, low carbohydrate diet, but I still have some concerns.
A: Glad you understood my explanation. Go ahead and tell me what scares you about eating a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Hope I could help!
Q: You know that carbs are essential nutrients for life. After all they are the preferred body fuel. How am I gonna be healthy if I rely on fat to be my main fuel?
A: Carbs are essential for life says who? Tell you the truth I’ve heard about essential proteins, essential fatty acids, but not once in my life I’ve heard of essential carbohydrate. That should be enough to question the statement that carbs are an essential nutrient. Truth is that your body can make all the carbs it needs from protein and glycerol.
That reminds me of a study where “small groups of bicycle racers performing at a brisk bicycling pace (22-24 mph) for several hours. Unlike most bike racers in low carbohydrate studies, these bicyclists were allowed ample time to adapt to a diet of about 15% protein and over 80% fat, with the only carbs coming from the small amount of carbohydrates naturally found in meat.
These cyclists’ performance was not affected negatively by the presence of nearly zero carbohydrates in their diet – although their muscle carbohydrate stores were significantly reduced. This was primarily because their bodies had become accustomed to burning fats as a fuel during exercise.”
So, if an endurance athlete could get by perfectly on almost no carbs and still be at his peak performance and be healthy and strong, why an average person would consider carbs to be essential?
On the other hand you raised the topic about carbs being the preferred fuel. That is wrong! Give it a thought. Your body is smart. It stores fat, for future emergencies, in case you starve and don’t provide it with fuel from food.
As Mark Sission states in this article:
“The liver, the main back-up glycogen/glucose storage facility for the brain and other glucose-burning organs, can only store about 100 grams of glycogen. Less than a day’s worth. Your muscles can only hold another 350-500 grams, barely enough to run for 90 minutes at a reasonable clip, and that glycogen isn’t even available to provide fuel for the brain. Meanwhile, we have a virtually unlimited storage capacity for fat (like 100,000 grams or close to a million calories on some people).”
So, if the body prefers carbs, why does it have an unlimited capacity to store fat, and just about 400-600 grams of carbs? Because probably it’s not carbs, but fats it needs in order to function!
Q: Once again I am shocked! Explained like that everything has so much logic and it is so obvious. But if that is true how come the high fat diets, or also called ketogenic diets cause the body to go in ketosis, which is dangerous?
A: I wondered when you were gonna ask this. Misconception AGAIN. People who claim ketosis is dangerous, are people who have no idea about the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis.
Both are metabolic processes that involve the breakdown of fats, BUT… ketosis is a normal metabolic function, and ketoacidosis “is a state is a life-threatening medical condition of particular concern to those with diabetes type I.
“Ketoacidosis is a state of toxicity in which there are elevated levels of acids called ketones in the blood. This condition occurs when insulin levels are too low and the liver attempts to restore energy by metabolizing fats and proteins due to a lack of available carbohydrates. Since ketone acids slowly degrade into acetone, the breath often smells fruity or similar to nail polish remover. Without immediate medical attention, this condition can induce a diabetic coma and, possibly, death.” Learn more here!
Q: Oh, my! I am just speechless… well, then low carb diets are bad for the kidneys, right?
A: Yes! LOW CARB diets. Not high fat, low carb diets. Most people don’t make the difference and they just talk… When you lower the carbs, you need to substitute them with another fuel, i.e. fats! If you don’t do that, you are gonna eat mainly proteins, no fats and really low carbs, and that for sure is not good.
So, when we talk about low carb, we mean low carb, high fat diet! And high fat diet, ain’t gonna hurt your kidneys.
Q: I see ! There is truly a difference. Now I feel a lot better. But I talked to a few people in the gym, and they told me that a ketogenic diet isn’t gonna lead to a real weightloss. They say it is all a waste of water. And I really wanna shed off some pounds!
A: If you are adapted to using carbs for fuel and you start eating high fat, low carb, some of the weigt you are gonna lose at the beginning will be water.
That is because the glycogen holds more than double its weight in water. And when you don’t eat a lot of carbs, you aren’t gonna retain that much water. But after your body becomes adapted to using ketones, i.e. to you eating mostly fat not carbs, the water loss will stabilize and you will keep on melting the fat!
Q: Sounds great! I am really excited, but with the risk to be impertinent I am gonna ask one more question! How am I gonna get enough vitamins, if I don’t eat a lot of fruits and grains?
A: As a matter of fact, you could get more nutrients from a high fat diet, than a traditional diet. First, there are fat solubale vitamins, that can’t be absorbed if you don’t eat enough fat.
And next, grains contain more anti-nutrients that bind and remove minerals from the body. Check out here about grains. So it doesn’t matter what nutrients the food you eat contains. What matters is what you absorb!
Q:Thank you once again for the great information! I will try eating low carb, high fat and then I will let you know how I feel!
A: Good luck with that. If you aren’t 100% sure and I wasn’t convincing enough check out what a high-fat diet could do you for you here!
How do you eat? Do you follow a low-carb, high- fat diet? If not, what is the reason behind that decision? What other myths about low-carb, high fat diets are spreading in your community?
P.S. If you liked this post, please share it with your friends! I’d greatly appreciate it!