Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stupid Things

If you are considering a low carb diet, no doubt friends, family, and random medical professionals will be more than happy to provide you with advice. Of course this advice will most likely be unsolicited as well as grossly inaccurate. Here are some of the dumber things that the average schmuck believes and says about a low carb way of eating along with the actual truth.

"Low carb is bad for your kidneys!"
No. It isn't. If your kidneys are healthy BEFORE you begin a low carb diet, they will not be damaged by reducing your intake
of sugar and carbohydrates one bit. The higher level of fat and protein you eat on a low carb diet isn't a problem either. According to Elizabeth Ward, founder and president of the British Kidney Patient Association, "If you have healthy kidneys, you can't eat enough protein to damage your kidneys."

As stated by Barry Groves, nutritionist and author of Natural Health and Weight Loss, " The long-running Nurses' Health Study, for example, showed that a high protein intake was not associated with renal function decline in women whose kidneys were healthy at the start of the study."

A special thanks to Nancy LC at the Active Low Carb forums for inspiring this cartoon! ©2007 Wifezilla

A Low Carb Diet is Bad for Your Heart!
"Theoretically, the high fat content in low-carb diets could raise levels of an inflammatory marker in the blood called C-reactive protein, or CRP.

But when the researchers compared the effects of a low-carb diet with a traditional fat- and calorie-restricted diet among 78 extremely obese adults, they found that CRP levels typically fell to a greater degree with the carb-cutting diet"

"We've spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease. The most recent example is the Women's Health Initiative, the government's largest and most expensive ($725 million) diet study yet. The results, published last year, show that a diet low in total fat and saturated fat had no impact in reducing heart-disease and stroke rates in some 20,000 women who had adhered to the regimen for an average of 8 years."

"Critics of low-carbohydrate diets claim that they promote heart disease, but one of the first studies to examine the long-term effects of low-carb eating suggests otherwise.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found no evidence of an association between low-carbohydrate diets and increased cardiovascular risk, even when these diets were high in saturated animal fats."

"In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators from the Harvard School of Public Health report that women who ate diets relatively low in carbohydrates (and thus relatively high in fats) experienced no increase in coronary artery disease."

I Could Never Eat all That Meat!
Contrary to popular belief, a low carb diet doesn't necessarily mean a diet of mostly meat. Low carbohydrate vegetables like leafy greens, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, jicama and more make up a good portion of a low carber's daily fare.

Low carbohydrate fruit like blueberries and strawberries are also on the menu. Once a low carber transitions from weight loss to maintenance, more fruits like kiwi and cantaloupe can be added as well.

There are even groups of vegetarian low carbers out there in cyberspace. In my case, the largest component to my diet isn't meat OR vegetables. It's fat!

A Low Carb Diet Screws Up Your Bones!
"As of May 2006, the scientists conducting the studies continue to be “surprised” by the result that more protein in the diet at the very least causes no harm, and in most studies improves bone density rather than causes bone loss"

You also have to keep in mind that there are a couple of cultures that, for centuries, had thrived on a low (or NO) carbohydrate/higher protein/high fat diet. Among them are the Inuit people. Had a low carb diet caused bone damage, generation after generation of this way of eating should have left them mangled and broken. Instead, those sticking with their ancestral diet are perfectly healthy while those who have adopted a more Western style of eating with increased carbohydrate consumption are the ones who are unhealthy.

"Today, when diet books top the best-seller list and nobody seems sure of what to eat to stay healthy, it’s surprising to learn how well the Eskimo did on a high-protein, high-fat diet."

You Need a Certain Amount of Carbohydrates Per Day!
Nope. You can live just fine without carbohydrates AT ALL! While is is true that your brain runs on glucose, and carbohydrates are a ready source for that material, if you do not ingest glucose, your brain is quite capable of running on ketone bodies.

In fact, eating glucose because your brain runs on glucose, instead of helping, actually causes more problems. "...there is a groundswell of medical evidence that documents how too much sugar can make the brain shrink, wither, atrophy and just plain work badly.

If you want to age your brain just eat the typical diet most Americans consume. That will lead to memory, attention and mood difficulties and will hasten the path to Alzheimer's"

A low carbohydrate diet isn't a fad, it isn't new (having been written about and studied since the 1800's), and it isn't dangerous. The media and medical community have tried to blame a low carb diet for all kinds of ills, but the scientific evidence keeps coming up in low carb's favor. Instead of listening to sound bytes from the uninformed, do your own research. As much as the critics like to claim there is no telling what a low carb diet will do long term, there is plenty of history out there for anyone who cares to look.

In my case, low carb is the only thing that has lead to a significant weight loss. It has also lowered my blood pressure from 149/95 to 127/80. My kidneys haven't "Asploded!", my bones aren't broken, and my heart is still beating. My friends, who are following standard medical advice are gaining weight, on medication for type 2 diabetes and have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, we ALL know the long term outcome of that.


PJ said...

One of my favorite examples. After losing like 100 lbs on a lowcarb eating plan -- where I ate more food, and more nutritious food, than I ever have in my life -- my parents, having watched some TV show, assured me that it was baaaaaaaad (that's why they sound like sheep! ;-)) because, and I quote, "Too much protein can give you kidney stones!"

I said, really? How much is too much for someone of a given size? And how much does lowcarb suggest you eat? They had NO IDEA. I said, so this could be total fantasy. There's nothing real attached to it. "Too much! Oh nooooo!" You mean, if you stuff 12x your body weight of anything down your throat like a lab rat, it'll cause problems--no shit, sherlock! But since you don't know what lowcarb recommends, and you don't know how much the body needs, HOW can you say anything like "lowcarb is dangerous"?! That's just nonsense!

People just don't THINK nowdays.

Wifezilla said...

First of all, congrats on the 100 lb loss!

As for your parents...well...I have parents too. Nuff said :D

Orvette said...

I was sent here by Jimmy Moore and I LOVE your style! I'll definitely be back!

Orvette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wifezilla said...

Hi Orvette,

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the feedback :D

cindielyn said...

I loved your article. I have done lc for a number of years, lost weight and felt great, got stupid, gained it back and now realise I need to stick with eating a healthy lc diet for life. Don'tcha just love folks that tell you that you need to eat more veggies? I tell them, I bet I eat more than you do!

Rustybeth said...

People at work just can't process me being on low carb and then seeing my 4oz serving of meat and my 2 cups of salad veggies at lunch, chased with cheese and full fat dressing.

It's 85lbs down for me, and it's quite apparent I've lost but not had kidney failure or a heart attack, so no one can really argue.
I think it's the fact that I go for a walk after eating my lunch rather than complaining about how tired I am that is the best revenge.

Wifezilla said...

Beth, that is fantastic!

Cindie, so glad to hear you are back on the low carb train :D

Marsh said...

I lost 44 lb on a Low Carb diet and finally after years I was able to get off my Blood Pressure Meds. My doctor was very happy with my blood work as well.
Now since I know I am in control I have also quit smoking.
LC will be a way of life for me. People can talk all they want. I have myself as evidence that it works and is safe and healthy.
A 235 lb low fat dieter told me that I was ruining my brain yesterday! I told her my brain was functioning just fine and that it had figured out a long time ago that low fat was not the way to get off the weight.