Chapter 1 - Overview of Low Carbohydrate and Ketogenic Diets
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This is part 2 of my review in Leyman's terms of the book 'The Art and Science of Low carbohydrate Living' By Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD & Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD
Looking at our ancestors they lived a low carb diet until a couple of thousand years ago and some Aboriginal cultures lived low carb lifestyles up until a few hundred years ago. This is prevalent with indigenous peoples who for many generations lived low carb lifestyles now have high incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. As with other intolerance (e.g. lactose, gluten, fructose), the obvious choice would be to reduce the dietary intake of the culprit. Healthy lifestyles i.e. exercise, may not be enough to eliminate the insulin resistance diseases which are reaping havoc on our society.
What does "Low Carbohydrate" Mean?
to go low carb it usually means to limit your carb intake, this can vary for different people but usually ranges between 25g grams - 125 grams of carbohydrate per day. for a type 2 diabetic on insulin as well as oral drugs it may be optimal to reduce to the lower amount and eventually with your doctors help start to reduce your medications. After a few months and weight loss the carbohydrate intake may be able to be increased to 50g but still keep glucose under control and in remission. Everybody's metabolic condition is individual so some tweaking may need to occur ( under supervision of your health care specialist).
Defining 'Nutritional Ketosis'
Ketosis is one step further in that instead of your body using glucose (from carbohydrates) as you energy fuel source the body changes over to use fats as the main energy source in ketones or as fatty acids. To move into the state of ketosis you are usually consuming less than 60g of carbs per day after a few weeks the brain will reduce its need for glucose. When the body consumes less than 50 g of carbs per day there is a dramatic reduction in the secretion of insulin, albeit protein will stimulate a small amounts of insulin to be released. This is called 'Nutritional Ketosis' which is when the body allows a stable state of inner-organ fuel homeostasis this is all done without distorting whole-body acid-base balance. (The body will adjust and do the right thing). In contrast'diabetic ketoacidosis' is a dangerous condition and can occur in type-1 diabetics and some late stage -2 diabetics, this is different altogether with a deficiency of Insulin with what ever they eat (this is life threatening). The importance here is to understand that they are two different metabolic states and that ketosis is quite safe for the general public.
Utility and Sustainability of carbohydrate Restriction
May generations of indigenous peoples ate very low carb at their normal diet and reproduced for hundreds of generations. carbohydrate restriction was common place in the 1920's for treatment of diabetes and seizures, that was until pharmaceutical therapies came along.Low carb diets have been restricted to use for weight loss in the temporary mode and then going back to normal upper carb eating. so later in this book , what foods? carbohydrates? protein? fats? this book also shows menus ans recipes to continue with.
Recent and Future Research
Many studies and controlled trials are discussed through out this book to address the pros and cons of low carbohydrate and ketogenic diet living
PS. As this book was written firstly 7 years ago up dates in this area seem to be happening daily. If you feel I need to write this a bit clearer please let me know or buy this book to go through your self and understand where the writers are coming from
My Take - we are all individuals and our individual carbohydrate intolerance level can be different at different stages of our lives. I have many patients say to me "but I've always eaten that , how come it's affecting me now?" My best way of explaining is , we are individually evolving in our own ways, but our body knows what is best for us , so after long term use or abuse of a food to body will start showing symptoms, and say 'no more. This is when we change to better our selves, that's where these book steps in , long term carbs, in processed sugars, wheat , cereal and so forth our bodies are reacting, try change, see the difference.