Why am I doing this?
The reason that I am so passionate about low carbohydrate healthy fat (LCHF) eating is the fact that for the first time in 35 years of practising medicine, I have realised something that has made more sense probably than anything else so far to me. That something is the fact that the world has become a much unhealthier place as the result of nutrition advice that has been promulgated since the 1970s. That advice was that we should be eating a diet that is low in fat & high in carbohydrates.
We know that, thanks to the work of Zoe Harcombe et al, that those guidelines were not based on contemporary medical knowledge & therefore should not actually have been introduced. We also know that the spread of this advice around the globe was more due to the persuasiveness of certain influential personalities.
Harcombe, Z., et al Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart, 2(1). Doi: 10.1136/ openhrt-2014-000196.
The graph below shows that in New Zealand, obesity rates have inexorably increased
in the 40+ years between 1977 & 2012. New Zealand has suffered at the expense of this policy, with subsequent increase in obesity (now over 30% of the population), fatty liver, hypertension, pre-diabetes & diabetes (& possibly more diseases).
This pattern is mirrored in all 'developed' regions - US, Europe, South Africa, Australasia.
The Pacific has also been severely affected by what I call 'white-man's disease' since the introduction of carbohydrate dense foods which has reeked havoc in their respective populations. They were not previously exposed to significant amounts of this macronutrient.
The world now faces a Tsunami of carbohydrate disease with exponential costs to society & which we will not be able to afford.
We know that there has always been & continues to be a major & very well financed lobby for the sugar industry (Big Sugar) & profits will go on to drive the decline in global health. It is perfect for making money for the the grain industry, cooking oil industry, diet industry & not least the pharmaceutical industry.
So the theory that reducing dietary fat (& by default therefore increasing carbohydrate intake) has not worked & has instead led to the disorders (& their complications) mentioned above.
No need for external carbohydrates
So the basis to the LCHF eating is the fact that the human body requires only very small quantities of external carbohydrates & produces its own internal supply of glucose & fructose from other macronutrients. As a result it is logical to conclude that we should not be eating external carbohydrates except in small quantities so that our bodies are not burdened with the 'toxic' breakdown products of glucose & fructose.
Of ingested glucose, only a very small quantity is used to provide a lot of energy. Hence if we ingest much more than we require, the excess is either converted to glucagon or converted to fat (via insulin).
Glucose is a toxin. We know this because people with diabetes who have prolonged raised blood glucose suffer the consequences of impaired blood supply to vital organs - kidney, heart, brain, peripheral nerves. And that is why we may have in part evolved to produce insulin to reduce blood glucose.
Remember that there are people out there with type 2 diabetes who are not overweight. They are just victims of chronic carbohydrate exposure whose bodies, as a consequence run out of useful insulin & so cannot control blood glucose. It is probably fair to say that fat people achieve this sooner.
Doing LCHF/Keto eating
LCHF is do-able with just a little organisation.
It is a spectrum, in that reducing carbs may be all that is required to achieve one's goals or one might have to get stricter if trying to achieve more such as weight loss, diabetes reversal.
When fat is broken down (dietary or body fat) it is converted to ketones. If carbohydrate restriction is significantly imposed, ketones are used for energy & hence the term Keto diet.
LCHF is not a diet. Diets usually fail. LCHF is a way of eating which has the advantage of being able to be altered to achieve one's goals & then continue with maintenance intake.
Carbohydrates that are eaten are only required in very small quantities & carbs will make you fat or keep you fat.