Why Low Carb High Fat? : Edify

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The Edify Low Carb High Fat Food Forum

Why a diet of Low Carb / High Fat food?

To answer this question we need to understand a little about fats and carbohydrates and the effect they have on our body. In my very un-scientific way I will try to explain their function below. But in a nutshell;

Carbs make you hungry, tired and fat!

Fat keeps you fuller for longer, more alert, and doesn't actually make you fat!


High Carbohydrate Breakfast - AVOID

The most common forms of digestable carbohydrates are sugars and starches* and they are EVERYWHERE. They include foods like breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, grains, soft drink, lollies, biscuits, fruit juice, potatoes, the list seems endless. You will find the supermarket shelves absolutely littered with them in some form or other. In general, carbs are carbs regardless of their guise.

In the body these sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars in the intestines and then absorbed into the blood. This raises blood glucose levels which in turn increases the production of the energy/fat storing hormone, insulin. If you burn what you eat then there's nothing to store and you don't need much insulin. If you don't burn what you eat then your body will produce more insulin and store it as fat. More carbs = more insulin = more fat stored = obesity.

Belly Fat

If you would like a more scientific and indepth look into insulin take a look at The Cause of Obesity, or if you really want the science then you can read some of Dr Lustig's papers.

Here is a great infographic on "The Sugary Truth", although in the Good News section (at the bottom) we would recommend eating more saturated fat.

*Fibre is also a carbohydrate but because the body cannot break it down it passes through the system undigested. We're not worried about this guy at the moment.

Saturated Fats

Saturated Fats are GOOD for you

Why were we told to stop eating saturated fats? There was actually NO scientific proof that saturated fats caused us harm. Infact, what if I told you your body NEEDS saturated fats to function properly?

Saturated fats from animals (beef, pork, lamb, chicken with the skin, full cream dairy etc) and tropical vegetables (coconut oil, palm oil etc) offer your body a large number of health benefits. Your body cannot function without saturated fats as it needs them for the healthy function of your... Cell Membranes, Heart, Liver, Bones (to assimilate calcium), Lungs, Hormones, Immune System, Satiety (the reduction of hunger) and Genetic Regulation.

When you think about all of these organs and their functions in your body, there isn't really much left in the body that doesn't need saturated fat.

But doesn't my body need carbohydrates to function?

A common myth that we were all once told.

Your body does not need carbohydrates to function. At any one time there is around 5 grams of glucose available to your body via your blood stream. If you eat a high carb diet any excess glucose causes an insulin response (spike) which deals with that excess glucose by storing it as fat cells.

Once keto adapted, ie a low carb diet for a week or so, the body now uses ketones, produced by the liver, to convert fat into fuel. Be it fat from your diet or from fat cells on your body. One myth is that the brain needs glucose to function, where studies now show that keto-adapted persons have higher mental focus and performance than those on carb diets. Ketones are the preferred fuel source for your body over glucose.

The problem with carb diets is the constant need to replenish those glucose levels. If you eat small amounts say 6-8 times a day then your body will be getting what it needs from diet and will prevent glucose from converting to fat, but none of us do that. So when we eat bulk carbs 3 times a day we get that insulin/blood sugar spike and we feel great, for a short while, but whilst you feel great from that spike, the excess glucose is concurrently being converted to body fat.

What's more is that in a person with a high carb diet, it is extremely difficult to use your stored body fat as fuel as your body is not adapted to use fat as fuel, rather it uses glucose. This is why we tend to feel down and hungry a lot more often on carb diets, we simply aren't betting enough glucose to fuel ourselves. On a diet where fat is our primary fuel source we feel less hungry because when the fat from our food is depleted the body instantly shifts to burning stored fat as fuel without the need to switch the chemical process in our bodies.

All in All

For tens of thousands of years, our human ancestors survived as hunter gatherers, living primarily off saturated fats and leafy vegetation..... Doesn't it just make sense to eat as we have done for the majority of the history of human life on earth?

"It's all about the food"