Misconceptions That Accompany The Low Carb Diet
“This is the way for those who are not afraid to look for answers, who do not leave themselves to fate and a medical diagnosis. There is no place for cowards, only the brave take their lives into their own hands. Others wander in the dark and believe that life must be like that. There is a better way that can lead us to die naturally from old age, and not violently from disease. ”– Dr. Bojana Mandić
LCHF – yes or no? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? Does it bring long-term good or bad? Can such a diet be applied by all or only by some? I believe these are (and many other) issues that plague both parents and people experiencing diabetes through their own skin. I do not write my texts dedicated to the LCHF diet with the intention of convincing someone that it is something that must be done and that it is the best thing in the world, but to offer answers to those who are interested in such a diet and who are not satisfied with the results so far. Maybe to reduce the noise of questions they have in their heads for some, because it was like that for me in the beginning. Unfortunately, I did not find concrete answers to the questions asked, so in my own ignorance I struggled and resisted the LCHF. After I decided to take matters into my own hands, as I was not satisfied with the results so far, all the questions slowly started to turn into answers. I also found articles and people who had experiences similar to mine and who found in LCHF something that did not cure them of diabetes, but allowed them to function normally and be content with themselves and their diabetes care. Since then, I have become one of them. Since then, I have been of the opinion that the LCHF diet is an extremely high-quality diet for people living a life with diabetes. Why? Because I haven’t yet to come across a person who, after REALLY trying the LCHF diet and giving him a chance, decided to go back to the old way. On the other hand, I have met many who, with a classic diet full of high-starch carbohydrates, keep looking and exploring over and over again what suits them and what their body will accept. Many of them are constantly spinning in a circle and are still in that same circle. This is not a text to list opponents of the LCHF diet to change opinions. This is a text so that those who seek a second opinion can find answers to those questions that possibly bother them. Therefore, I am transmitting to you the text taken from:
written by Dr. Bojana Mandić. That’s right – a DOCTOR, maybe more reason for all suspects to open up to something new. The text is not only for people who suffer from high blood sugar, but for anyone who wants to try something new.
Misconceptions that accompany the Low Carb diet
Misconception number 1. Low carb = No carb
Those who are not too versed in the low carb diet often confuse the terms. A low carb is a low carb diet, not a no carb diet. This is the type of diet where carbohydrate intake is limited, but this does not mean that their intake is absolutely excluded. Thus, some sources of carbohydrates such as cereals, industrial foods, sweets, juices, root vegetables are eliminated, but they are ingested through various other types of vegetables, nuts, dairy products, fruits, etc. Simply put, in the low carb diet it is ingested a limited amount of carbohydrates that are much higher quality and nutritionally richer than in the classic type of diet rich in cereals and potatoes.
Misconception number 2. LCHF is just another fad diet
That is what those who are not aware are saying. Those who have been overtaken by time. Those who have been giving you wrong advice for the last 40 years when it comes to healthy eating. Those who continue to promote low-calorie diets that have brought us the expansion of modern diseases – obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and cancer. Those who refuse to accept that they are wrong. The first written record of a low-carbohydrate diet used to treat obesity was published in 1869, under the title “Letter on Corpulence” by William Banting.
Dr. Atkin’s first book was published in 1972, five years before the promotion of low-calorie diets began. Recently, over 20 high-quality scientific studies on humans have been published, proving the benefits of a low carb diet on human health.
Misconception number 3. Fruits and vegetables are not consumed in LCHF
Because fruits and vegetables are predominantly carbohydrates, there are those who think that fruits and vegetables should not be ingested in LCHF and that low carb is just consuming bacon dipped in cream. It is true that more vegetables are consumed at LCHF than in the classic diet. My recommendation is that with every lunch and dinner you should definitely have a fresh, seasonal salad that should make up about 30-50% of the total meal.
Fruit intake is limited to that which has less fructose, fruit sugar. These are berries, citrus fruits (such as grapefruit) and sour apples. Daily recommendations for berries are one to two handfuls, while for other fruits the rule of one to two fruits per day applies. There are also fruits that are present for a short time during the year, such as cherries or melons. So of course, you can sweeten up with these gifts of nature because they are very rich in minerals and vitamins (unless you are diabetic with unstable blood sugar).
Misconception number 4. There is not enough fiber intake in low carb
Myth: “Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, so if it’s a low-carb diet, we’ll be in deficit with fiber intake.” It is true that vegetables recommended on the LCHF diet (those that grow above ground) are very rich in fiber, much more so than root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, etc. It is less known to be a good source of plant fiber and nuts and seeds which are recommended in the LCHF. The flours made from nuts as well as the psyllium powder used to make LCHF pastries and desserts are extremely rich in the finest plant fibers! You will consume much more fiber on the LCHF diet than on the classic cereal-rich diet.
Misconception number 5. LCHF is not for those who have heart problems
The LCHF diet is rich in saturated fats that are associated with cardiovascular disease – a misconception! It is true that all markers for heart disease improve on the LCHF diet! Scientifically proven (see here). It has been proven that increased intake of animal proteins and fats does not increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases:
triglycerides – go all the way down
HDL (“good” cholesterol) – increases
high blood pressure – falls (normal pressure, stays normal)
insulin resistance – decreases as insulin drops to low values
LDL (“bad” cholesterol) changes with their structure, from dense, small particles that are dangerous to the heart, to large and airy ones that do not pose a risk for the development of heart disease.
Misconception number 6. Low carb diet is high protein and only meat is eaten there
As the name suggests, LCHF “Low Carb High Fat”, the diet is low in carbohydrates and rich in fat. Who mentions proteins? Protein intake remains mostly the same as with the classic diet – moderate. With lunch, dinner – a piece of meat, fish or some homemade meat delicacies is enough.
Thus, although absolutely all types of meat can be consumed, it is consumed in reasonable quantities along with vegetables, dairy products and other foods recommended at the LCHF. When you eat real food then you can’t eat much. This type of diet quickly gives us a feeling of satiety and satisfaction, without a rush of pathological appetite and overeating.
Misconception number 7. LCHF diet can damage the kidneys
This myth builds on the previous one, that the LCHF diet is rich in protein. Protein-rich diets are thought to lead to kidney damage. It is considered, but not scientifically proven.
Misconception number 8. LCHF extracts calcium from the bones
Again, this is a misconception related to high-protein diets – people who eat plenty of protein excrete more calcium in their urine. How can anyone know that this excess calcium comes from the bones? Our body is not a “stupid” machine that just removes calcium from the bones just because we ate a big steak. The LCHF diet has a protective effect on our bones and proteins have a protective effect on bone health. See references and scientific research.
Misconception number 9. Most of the pounds lost on LCHF come from water loss
The carbohydrate stores its glycogen in the liver and muscles. Glycogen also binds a certain amount of water. At the beginning of consuming the LCHF diet, glycogen stores are depleted first, releasing water retention. On the other hand, a drop in insulin leads to an increased release of sodium from the body. Sodium is an osmotically active particle that also draws water. In this way, in the first few weeks, water is really expelled from the body more intensively, so the weight loss is greatest in the first month. Then the weight loss stabilizes at about 0.5 kg per week (there are individual differences) and then the burning of fat deposits begins. This is best monitored by measuring the circumference in the umbilical region.
A 6-week study on LCHF showed that an average of 3.4 kg of fat was lost and 1.1 kg of muscle tissue was gained. See the study here.
Misconception number 10. Ketosis is a dangerous metabolic condition
When small amounts of carbohydrates are ingested, insulin drops drastically and this opens the door for fat burning (high insulin does not allow fat to break down). The liver from fatty acids begins to form ketogenic bodies. Ketogenic bodies serve as a source of energy in cases where there is not enough glucose. It is an absolutely physiological process that keeps us alive thousands of years back, in cases where there was no abundance of food available.
Ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis usually occurs as a dangerous complication of unregulated insulin-dependent diabetes. There is an enormous increase in the amount of ketogenic bodies (which can never happen in physiological ketosis) in cases where there is not enough insulin in the body.
Ketosis, on the other hand, has been shown to be beneficial in many health problems – obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy in children, etc.
Misconception number 11. But the brain cannot function without glucose
It is considered necessary to consume a minimum of 130 g of carbohydrates per day in order for the brain to be able to supply glucose without hindrance. At LCHF, many ingest between 30-90 g of carbohydrates a day – so how do these people function?!
It is true that there are certain types of cells in the brain that can only use glucose as a source of energy. On the other hand, many other brain cells work even better on ketogenic bodies than on glucose. Ketogenic bodies are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and are an excellent substitute for glucose. The few cells that need glucose can always be supplied with glucose thanks to the process of gluconeogenesis.
This process takes place in our liver – glucose is created from proteins and the breakdown of metabolic products of fats. So, not a single gram of carbohydrate intake through food is needed for our brain to function. This is what I was talking about, that there are no essential carbohydrates, unlike proteins and fats that we have to ingest through food because the body is not capable of creating them on its own.
Misconception number 12. LCHF destroys physical performance
It is true that most of today’s athletes are at the LCHF. It is also true that at the beginning of low carb, there is a drop in energy and physical performance, but this is only temporary. It takes the body about a month to fully adapt to the new form of energy and to convert from a sugar burner to a fat burner. Therefore, it is recommended that the transfer to the LCHF be done only when there is no competition in front of the athletes. Scientific research also proves to improve physical performance on a low carb diet in athletes.
Every day, as the popularity of low carb diets grows, new prejudices, myths and misconceptions are born… The only way to get rid of this is to be well informed and open-minded to new scientifically proven facts. There will always be those who will say that they cannot imagine a meal without bread and that everything else is wrong and sick. Let them, this is not their way. This is the way for those who are not afraid to seek answers, who do not surrender to fate and medical diagnosis. There is no place for cowards, only the brave take their lives into their own hands. Others wander in the dark and believe that life should be like this… There is a better path, a path that can lead us to die naturally from old age, not violently from disease.