Medical research from a hundred years ago is being revisited in the face of the exponential growth of inflammatory diseases in the West. At the very center of this research is the role carbohydrates play in promoting disease ~ especially carbs from grains and refined sugars. Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diets (aka Adkins’) are being analyzed, not only for weight loss, but as natural treatments for inflammatory diseases.
Chris Kesser defines various levels of carb intake as follows:
- Very Low carb = lower than 10% of total calories (Good for therapeutic uses such as cancer treatment, Diabetes treatment, Alzheimers & other conditions)
- Low carb = 10-15% of total calories (good for weight loss, blood sugar control, digestive improvement, and Diabetes control)
- Moderate carb = 15-30% of total calories (good range for the average person to maintain weight, balance energy, balance hormones, etc)
- High carb = greater than 30% of total calories (Good for people that want to GAIN weight, gain muscle, or are high level athletes)
The average person eating a modern western diet consumes a massive 50-60% of their calories from carbs.
(Mike Geary, http://www.truthaboutabs.com/good-carbs-bad-carbs.html).
Dr. William Davis (Wheat Belly Total Health) recommends 50 grams of carbs or less. This represents 10% of calories based on a 2000 calorie goal (4 cal x 50 g = 200 carb calories).
Drs. Jason Fung, David Perlmutter, and Joseph Mercola all recommend 20 grams or less to attack inflammatory diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancers, kidney disease, and dementia such as Alzheimer’s. This represents 4% of calories based on the same 2000 calorie goal (4 cal x 20 g = 80 cal).
Such recommendations certainly place today’s explosion of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and dementia in proper context. USDA food guidelines that were published in its Food Pyramid (1978) ~ high carb (with emphasis on whole grains) and low fat ~ have been subjected to 45 years of real-world human testing, and found to be deadly. (Dr. Fung traces the pyramid to the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition (1968-1977) chaired by Sen. George McGovern. USDA guidelines follow the Committee’s final report (1977) which included, according to Fung, “no scientific research into the impact of their recommendations on human health.”
Present medical practice is to treat symptoms of inflammatory diseases with anti-inflammatory drugs. That is, patients are prescribed medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, etc. We would do better, says these doctors, to emphasize nutritional practices that prevent inflammation in the first place. This is all the more important as the American medical system is being overly taxed by governmental interference in health care through the ACA.
For anyone suffering from obesity, type 2 diabetes (fasting blood sugars above 160) or pre-diabetes (FBS: 140-160), or any other inflammatory-caused diseases, give serious consideration to these 5 keys:
- Eliminate all grains and refined sugars. This is very difficult in the beginning due to addiction to wheat opiates and sugar, which affect the brain in the same way as heroin. The greater the obesity, the deeper the addiction, and the more uncomfortable the withdrawal. Expect “grain-flu” symptoms with severe discomfort during the first week of elimination. Wheat opiate withdrawal begins the 3rd or 4th day and continues 2-4 days after that.
- Aim for a nutrition profile of 10% carbs, 30% protein, and 60% healthy fats. Healthy fats are defined as fat on free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, or grass-fed beef, lard, bacon grease, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, and avocado oil. Avoid all vegetable oils (canola, soybean – the foundation of most processed salad dressings and mayonnaise) and all trans-fats (margarine, hydrogenated oils). If a 10-30-60 profile does not result in weight loss after a week, or if you hit a weight-loss plateau for several weeks, drop carbs and protein, and increase fats. 5-15-80.
- Initiate use of Omega 3 (fish oil) to overcome excessive exposure of Omega 6 fats (vegetable oils and legal foods).
- Initiate pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods. Most Americans eat little fermented food such as kimchi or sauerkraut (American sauerkraut is pickled, not fermented). Worse, frequent use of antibiotics can play havoc with gut bacteria, leaving us vulnerable to bad strains (leads to leaky gut, a serious condition). Most of us need to introduce good bacteria to our system through the use of probiotic foods (fermented foods or capsules, such as Ultimate Flora 50 Billion). We provide a good environment for beneficial bacteria to grow by daily consumption of prebiotic fibers — raw potato, raw potato starch (Bob’ Red Mill), jicama, inulin powder, and green banana.
- The final key I’ll mention here is the miracle role fasting plays in health. Fasting is defined as consuming no calories over time. Water, green tea, plain broth (vegetable, chicken, beef; not bouillon), and/or coffee with or without a bit of heavy cream are allowed to maintain hydration. Fasting not only lowers glucose drastically, but it also lowers the “weight set point” the body naturally works to maintain (Fung). Losing weight without lowering the weight set point becomes increasingly difficult as we fight against our own bodies and brains that work to increase weight to our set point.Body and brain eventually overcome personal will power, and we gain weight. While low-calorie diets lower metabolism (making losing weight more difficult), fasting raises metabolism. The easiest introduction to fasting is “eat-stop-eat” (Brad Pilon), the elimination of all calorie-containing snacks between meals. The second step is the 12-hour fast. The easiest version of 12-hour fasting is 8pm to 8 am the next day. Eat dinner, and then eat nothing for 12 hours. Eat a LCHF breakfast. The third step is the 16-hour fast, from 8 pm to 12 noon the next day. Skip breakfast while enjoying a cup of green tea. Eat a LCHF lunch and dinner. The fourth step is the 24-hour fast, 8 pm to 8 pm the next day. Skip breakfast and lunch. Enjoy a LCHF dinner. The fifth step is the 36-hour fast, 8 pm to 8 am the third day. Skip breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Day 2. One may fast for many days, even weeks, without detriment to blood chemistry. (Fung, Perlmutter). Ketones, produced by burning fat for fuel, protects muscles and brain from cannibalism until all body fat is consumed.
These are the keys. You can learn much more from the experts, taking control of your health by killing excessive insulin that causes inflammation in every cell of our bodies. One might call it miraculous; others might point to these “natural alternatives” as bowing to the Creator’s design of the human body, alternatives often practiced before modern medicine produced medications to handle symptoms.
Note: Mercola and Perlmutter are not without their critics. One does not poke one’s finger in the eye of the American Medical Association and the United States’ Department of Agriculture without repercussions. I have seen no such criticism of Davis or Fung, but as they grow in popularity, that may come as well. What I have shared is from my own personal experience in these 5 key areas.
The government has stated publicly and authoritatively for 45 years that grains – especially whole grains – are healthy, fat – especially saturated fat – is not. These authors disagree, and state as loudly and authoritatively that grains and sugars are harmful, even deadly over time, and that fat is healthy. Whether Mercola and Perlmutter are engaged in nefarious issues beyond disagreeing with government agencies (particularly centering on sale of questionable supplements on their websites), I do not know. But for purposes of full disclosure, I wanted to let you know what I had found. You can google the names to read the various reports, though one writer highly critical of Perlmutter is an “associate professor of religion (majoring on Chinese religions).” One wonders about the academic basis for his analysis at the very least.
Publications on Amazon.com:
Fung, Jason. The Obesity Code
Mercola, Joseph. The No-Grain Diet
Perlmutter, David. Grain Brain