Carb Counters - Fat question




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Rosinante
05-29-2010, 05:33 AM
(Isn't it always :D )

Why is the fat in low carb good for you? The book I'm using, Pig2Twig, is great for recipes and motivation; really, really good but it doesn't go much into the science. Deliberately so, they say: Do what we tell you and it will work; and there is a certain sense of liberation in that, I will say.

It is working for me so far but I'm just curious about the benefits of fat: Why is it, for example, that a low carb low fat WoE wouldn't work?

Thanks.


JerseyGyrl
05-29-2010, 07:31 AM
It is working for me so far but I'm just curious about the benefits of fat: Why is it, for example, that a low carb low fat WoE wouldn't work?



In a nutshell,the low carb/high fat lifestyle works by converting the fat you're eating to fuel your body (since you aren't eating high carbs). This is basically the principal of ketosis.
Some interesting articles (and be prepared, lots of anti low carb/high fat nay-sayers who wil not agree with these articles) you may find helpful:
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/529-fats-and-oils-and-their-impact-on-health.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/561-know-your-fats-introduction.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/1369-some-recent-studies-on-fats.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/528-importance-of-saturated-fats-for-biological-functions.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/526-skinny-on-fats.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/547-lowfat-diets.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/538-cholesterol-and-heart-disease-a-phony-issue.html
Hope this helps!:)

srmb60
05-29-2010, 09:05 AM
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-context-of-calories/


BibBob
05-29-2010, 02:16 PM
(Isn't it always :D )

It is working for me so far but I'm just curious about the benefits of fat: Why is it, for example, that a low carb low fat WoE wouldn't work?

Thanks.

I think the links explain about the benefits of fats. For me it is simplified to this: I need my body to burn fat. The only way to start that process is to get off of carbs so my body seeks other forms of fuel. Once it starts burning fat I want it to continue, so I keep feeding it more.

A low carb low fat diet can work, but the fats cannot go too low without the carbs going to high. It may even accelerate weight loss if you are low enough carb to be burning fats for fuel.

The Steve Nash diet is a good example. (http://www.nba.com/suns/news/feature_nashdiet_090709.html)

Im not perfect but I try to eat healthy, and I try to eat as much natural stuff from the earth as I can, he said. I stay away from all the processed foods, as well as pastas, rice and breads.

The core of his diet consists of fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, chicken and fish. He also supplements by taking vitamins that you can find at any supermarket.

A typical breakfast for the teams playmaker would be wheat-free cereal with non-dairy milk (almond milk), while lunch and dinner would be a chicken or fish salad. In between meals, one can always find Nash snacking on fruits, raw nuts and natural energy bars.


So that sounds pretty low fat. He's getting his fats from chicken, but my guess is he keeps to lean cuts of breast; fish, which is probably the best source of fat we can access on any diet; and raw nuts. He avoids dairy, pork and beef fat for the most part. My concerns with this approach are sustainability and budget. I know I can sustain my higher fat approach and I know I can get to an ideal weight on it. From a pure calorie standpoint it may take me a bit longer, but my goal isn't just to lose, I've done that many times, it's to maintain for good. Eliminating sweets, cereal, bread, pizza, rice, potatoes, pasta, so many products made from refined oils -- holy cow, I will need my bacon, and my jerky, and my cheese, and tasty burger wrapped up in romaine -- or I will yo you again. I'm not as fortunate financially or as strong willfully as Steve Nash.

kaplods
05-29-2010, 02:26 PM
Very low carb dieting shouldn't be combined with very low fat, because it can actually be dangerous. It can result in "rabbit starvation."

The condition got the name "rabbit starvation" during the days of pioneer wagon trains. During the winter, when supplies would run out, and rabbit was the only food source available, people would get very sick, because rabbit is a very lean meat. Without carbohydrates or fat - people (it's said) would die sooner than if they had nothing to eat at all (probably due to dehydration - as the symptoms include vomitting and diarrhea).

CJZee
05-29-2010, 04:44 PM
(Isn't it always :D )

Why is it, for example, that a low carb low fat WoE wouldn't work?
Thanks.

Hi Rosinante -- I don't know how much detail you want, but in regards to your question in the box -- this is the way I think about it. There are really only three things to eat:

1. carbs Carbs spike up blood sugar and thus insulin (the fat storage hormone); grains in particular are toxic in many people causing low-grade inflammation that is the basis for everything from heart disease to arthritis. (Of course, sugar is really bad in any form.) Most carbs you eat should come from veggies most of which are not very high in calories. If you eat 200 calories a day in veggies, that's a lot. Carbs (in their natural state) almost never have much fat associated with them.

2. protein The usual recommendation is about a gram of protein per whatever body weight you want to end up at. For me, that's about 139 grams of protein or 556 calories. Protein almost always has fat associated with it, often quite a bit (unless it's artificially stripped out, i.e. low-fat dairy).

3. fat Fat is metabolically pretty inert ... it doesn't spike blood sugar so doesn't increase insulin (the fat storage hormone). Since you have to eat something, and since our combo of protein and veggies does not give us nearly enough calories to live, we have to eat fat. Fat is highly satiating, keeps skin and hair beautiful, and is altogether a wonderful thing to eat.

Thus, you cannot go on a low fat, low carb diet and be healthy.

Here is a good explanation of all this:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/03/thoughts-on-obesity-part-ii.html

BibBob
05-29-2010, 07:49 PM
2. protein The usual recommendation is about a gram of protein per whatever body weight you want to end up at. For me, that's about 139 grams of protein or 556 calories. Protein almost always has fat associated with it, often quite a bit (unless it's artificially stripped out, i.e. low-fat dairy).

Certain fish and parts of chicken and other fowl are very lean. Steve Nash's diet works. I have no doubt about it.


Thus, you cannot go on a low fat, low carb diet and be healthy.

Here is a good explanation of all this:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/03/thoughts-on-obesity-part-ii.html

Dr. Guyenet's opinions have become more nuanced in the two and a half years he's been blogging since that post. He does not wholeheartedly endorse Taubes anymore and he's explained other hormones and factores that contribute to fat storage other than insulin. He loves the health benefits of saturated fats, but his diet is not that fatty. He even eats grains.

I can be low carb, grain and sugar free, and get my protein from very lean meat. I may if the weight loss doesn't speed up. Even some beef is very lean, especially grass fed. Cordain, one of the original paleo diet doctors, is low carb low fat. I believe South Beach is too. If I don't get a big weight loss number on Tuesday (my monthly weigh in) then I have to think real hard about the amount of fats I've consumed. I'll lower them if I feel I need to. Either that or crank up the intermittent fasting. Let's just hope for a big number, eh?

CJZee
05-29-2010, 09:11 PM
Dr. Guyenet's opinions have become more nuanced in the two and a half years he's been blogging since that post. He does not wholeheartedly endorse Taubes anymore and he's explained other hormones and factores that contribute to fat storage other than insulin. He loves the health benefits of saturated fats, but his diet is not that fatty. He even eats grains.

Hey Bob -- Stephan updated the post I pointed to in parenthesis, so even though he wrote it a while back, it is up-to-date.

You're right, he does eat some carbs himself but he's a skinny young guy. He believes a carb restricted diet is necessary for fat loss:
The most obvious treatment that fits all of my criteria is low-carbohydrate dieting. Overweight people eating low-carbohydrate diets generally lose fat and spontaneously reduce their calorie intake. In fact, in several diet studies, investigators compared an all-you-can-eat low-carbohydrate diet with a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. The low-carbohydrate dieters generally reduced their calorie intake and body fat to a similar or greater degree than the low-fat dieters, despite the fact that they ate all the calories they wanted. (emphasis mine)Link to whole post (http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/01/body-fat-setpoint-part-iv-changing.html)

BibBob
05-30-2010, 04:16 AM
No doubt, CJ. Low carb for weight loss seems to be a no brainer to those really looking at the research. No refined sugar, grains or oils seems like a reasonable lifetime health goal regardless of weight. I was just taking issue with the idea that I cannot be low carb and low fat. There's a difference between a famished person starving on a near zero fat diet of rabbit, and a morbidly obese person cutting back on fats while keeping carbs low. Steve Nash is freakishly lean and healthy on a low carb low fat diet.

If in ketosis, my body is burning fat, then can I not choose which fat? The fat I eat, or the fat I have stored. By having a low fat intake, I suspect I will burn more of what's stored, which is the goal. I'll keep reading with an open mind, but I am determined to take off this weight and become a lean person. I'm not too pleased with one month of low carb high fat, but as you know, I am impatient.

CJZee
05-30-2010, 07:38 AM
Steve Nash is freakishly lean and healthy on a low carb low fat diet ... If in ketosis, my body is burning fat, then can I not choose which fat? The fat I eat, or the fat I have stored.

Hi Bob ... sorry, I have no idea who Steve Nash is :^:.

You're right, of course, if our body actually burns primarily our body fat to get the calories it needs and doesn't cannibalize our lean muscle or lower metabolism.

Rosinante
05-30-2010, 08:56 AM
Thankyou, everybody, for all your thoughts and links. I'll get to them when I come home this afternoon.

xx

kaplods
05-30-2010, 03:34 PM
Even for morbidly obese folks a nearly no-fat, no-carb diet may be dangerous (although most people naturally will include enough fat and carbs even on a low-carb diet to minimize the risks, and even most of those who do try restricting carbs/fat to such minimal levels won't do so for long - because of food enjoyment issues and the unpleasant side effects. Most people won't stay on any diet if they're experiencing severe headaches, dizziness, vomitting and diarrhea).

Most people are smart enough to modify a diet that's making them sick. The rabbit starvation I mentioned(sometimes called protein poisoning) isn't a symptomless illness. You don't just drop dead from too little fat/carb intake - you experience severe illness symptoms, severe enough that most people aren't dumb or stubborn enough to indure. You'd likely seek medical treatment before it became life threatening (or you'd learn on your own that the way to prevent the symptoms is to eat more vegetables than just a small amount of lettuce, or learn to add a little fat). It doesn't have to be a lot of fat or a lot of carbs for that matter to remove the risk (you can still healthfully follow a low-fat, low-carb diet - as long as the low doesn't actually mean no).


There was a woman named Kim who modified the Atkins diet to make it a virtually no-carb, no-fat plan. She claimed to have lost over 100 lbs on the diet and she opened a pay subscription website and made tons of money on a lie (whether or not she ever followed the diet is unclear, but private investigation found her to still be obese, and many of her claims on the site disproven). She stole pics from russian dating and other fitness sites to use as before and after pics (often clearly not the same women in the before and after shot).

She advocated a state of SNATT (semi-nauseous all the time), and the worse members complained about feeling, the more they were encouraged that it was "proof of the diet working."

There were several deaths attributed to the diet (still-overweight women, I believe), for which the woman is currently being sued (as well as for fraud and breach of contract, as she'd cancel anyone's membership if the disagreed with her on the discussion boards).

In the 70's or 80's there was a big liquid diet controversy, because there were deaths attributed to the high-protein, no-fat/no-carb liquid diets. Liquid diets are formulated differently now to minimize the risks. If I remember correctly, they made the following modifications: Adding a few grams of fat or carbs (not many, but enough to prevent the no-carb/no-fat problem) and adding some sodium (again you don't need tons), because of the theory that it was sodium depletion that caused the heart attacks (in vomitting and diarrhea this can also be a risk. The fluid and electrolyte loss can cause cardiac arrest).

All of this can be prevented with basic common sense. If you're taking in a lot of protein, you need to be taking in sufficient fluids (even wolves and other carnivores can die in the winter from "protein poisoning" or ketoacidosis if they don't have sufficient access to liquid water). A little fat (even if you're morbidly obese) is probably a good thing. It's not that easy to create a truly fat-free diet. A few sunflower seeds or a little oil on a salad dressing, or even a serving of most lean meats (completely fat-free meats are usually pretty tough), probably is enough to prevent illness. A carb-free diet is a bit easier, but most people aren't going to go completely plant-free (although there are more veggie phobes than fat phobes).

It all boils down to common sense. If you're feeling extremely ill or fatigued, it's probably not (as Kim tried to convince her members) a good sign, and you might want to change what you're doing. If you're feeling great, it may not be proof, but it's surely an indication that you're doing something right.