"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.