Chapter 2 - Low Carbohydrate Lessons from Aboriginal Cultures
Post 11 of 365
This is part 3 of my review in Layman's terms of the book 'The Art and Science of Low carbohydrate Living' By Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD & Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD
Introduction and Caveat
we have been around for around 2 million years and for most of that time we mostly ate proteins and fats, until about 8000 years ago carbohydrates were introduced as a dependable source of food. So why did we start to consume large amounts of carbohydrates?The decision of how much protein and fats and how low to go with the carbohydrates, is it just avoiding sugars and starches? The interpretation of different nomadic and hunting cultures has lead to different hypothesis on what works and what doesn't. So this chapter will look at where we have been to understand where we need to go.
Seeking Credible Reporters
Observation of any culture can be misconstrued, actually living the culture is how true studies should be conducted. It is well documented that indigenous cultures used the fats from their foods to store, and eat as a large part of their diets. The only think we are unsure of is the quantities of fat, protein and carbohydrate.
Finding Credible Dietary Quantitation
It was thought that our ancestors ate mostly protein to survive, but to the contrary their diets are and always have been, much higher in fats. The Masai eat 30% protein and 70% fat in their diets, the hunter in gatherers in indigenous cultures are as high as 80% fat intake for energy daily. A lot of studies previously may be miss guided as the original though was of a higher protein diet.
Types of Fat Consumed
Store-ability of fats was the main concern and that is why some hunters processed milk to produce cheese and butter and some processed the fat for later use in their lean time of hunting. The hunters not only got their fat source from land they also ate fatty fish and preserved (dried the fish ) for future fat intake.
Salt is necessary for life, the amount of carbohydrate in our diet changes our need for salt!
A higher carb diet has the kidneys retain salt, and a low carb diet increases sodium excretion by the bladder.
1/ A low carbohydrate diet is moderate in protein and high in fat
2/ The type of fat you eat is important, when fat is used for fuel the body prefers, mono-unsaturated and saturates, with a small amount of polyunsaturated fats.
3/ With a high fat diet you will excrete more salt so a balance of salt must be kept in the body to prevent, fatigue and headaches.
My Take: It is essential when carbs are reduced and fats are increased that your electrolytes need to be balanced, other wise this will cause headaches, sore limbs and fatigue. Electrolytes are sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium etc. Always use sea salt or Himalayan salt as they have other minerals naturally in them. This is the main reason why when you first go on a low carb diet you tend to pee a lot , and the beginning weight you loose is the water your body has been retaining with the salt! An electrolyte supplement can also be good at this time until you adjust your salt intake.
This is called the natriuresis of fasting and is part of the reason when you start on