Is a low carb high/healthy fat diet (LCHHF) a healthy option? Diets are always big news. From Scarsdale, Atkins, South Beach, Ornish, Zone, flexitarian, pescatarian, and paleo ….
But shaking up the diet world this year is the idea that fat is healthy; grains and sugars are unhealthy. For as long as I can remember, there are continual contradictions in the media about what we should be eating. It becomes very difficult to work out who is correct. On the one hand we have the Heart Foundation and the Dietitians Association telling us that we should be eating wholegrains and low fat food, and then on the other….
When I was in my twenties, I became a vegetarian for five years – not out of concern for animal welfare, but because I lived in England and meat was expensive. Then I met Simon, who came from a sheep farm in New Zealand, and for a while we alternated vegetarian and meat meals until we had our first child. From then on, we roughly followed the so-called Mediterranean Diet – meat, veggies, fruit and whole grains.
However this did not serve us well. We both started becoming larger. And my husband suffered a minor heart attack at the age of 47. Once I hit 50 years of age, I was very unhappy about my size and wasn’t cheered by my husband telling me that it was because I was getting old!
Then in July 2012, we changed to a Low Carb HEALTHY Fats diet.
After my husband had undergone a five bypass heart operation (and was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2), we both began following Dr Steven Gundry’s program “Diet Evolution”. In hospital the dietitian gave the same old advice which was to eat whole grains and low fat foods (ref:Low carbohydrate diets: going against the grain). Which we ignored because that’s what we had been doing, and it hadn’t stopped my husband getting heart disease and diabetes type 2.
My husband has since reduced his weight by 20 kgs and I have dropped from a size 14 to size 12. We both feel well and my husband’s blood test results are continually improving. We both have always thought we had a healthy diet, but it wasn’t until I stopped eating my wholemeal bread sandwich for lunch (which I thought I could get away with) that I started to lose my “wheat belly” and my sticking out backside. We haven’t had to do a whole lot of exercise either – we both walk (and could do with lifting weights).
Some of the “problems” we experienced and our solutions:
Constipation – we increased our magnesium supplements, took probiotics and ate fermented foods (constipation is due to the previous damage caused by the fibre in grains).
I wasn’t losing weight initially – I got my tape measure out and found that I was dropping inches before pounds. I had about 5kgs that I wanted to release, and eventually over about 6 months that occurred.
Low thyroid – fortunately I was able to get treatment for a low thyroid before embarking on our new eating programme. I would have found it difficult to reduce weight if this hadn’t been resolved (ask your doctor to be tested).
Low blood sugar – My cousin’s husband was taking medication for high blood sugar. Unfortunately he was not monitored by his doctor and suffered a scare when his blood sugar became extremely low. If you are taking blood sugar and/or blood pressure medication, be sure to continually monitor with your doctor as you may need to decrease your medication.
We have stopped eating low fat foods, cooked root vegetables, all grains, all sweeteners. We have very rarely eaten processed foods and very little take-away foods. We eat heaps of fresh veggies as well as healthy fats – avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil; and a small amount of animal protein. We do have to continually read labels on food products like dried herbs, spices and chili sauce to watch out for added wheat and sugar! We eat fruit very occasionally, and Simon is a big fan of fresh lemon juice (which is “allowed”). Food is now interesting and nutritious.
Cauliflower and broccoli soup
A great salad when asparagus is in season.
A delicious raw beetroot and carrot salad.
More and more evidence is pointing to how our high grain/high sugar diet is causing major health issues and obesity. It’s not how much we are eating, it is what we are eating. There are now many studies pointing out that our diets need to change. My husband is a dentist and is also aware of the damage that the current dietary guidelines have on our oral health.
Since we changed to a low carb healthy/high fat diet my husband and I do not have the cravings, the hunger pains and the blood sugar swings that we used to have, and we have heaps more energy. Take a look as you walk around the streets at the damage our current dietary guidelines are doing to people.
Get familiar with the science – read the books (I have read the books listed below) and watch the videos to learn what Dr Steven Gundry , Dr David Perlmutter (Video 1 and Video 2), Dr Jeff Volek and Dr William Davis and so many other health professionals have to say about the recommended food pyramid.
Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline (read my review here)
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (read my review here)
Wheat Belly Total Health: The Ultimate Grain-Free Health and Weight-Loss Life Plan
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life
Prof Grant Schofield
Sugar: Hiding in plain sight – Robert Lustig (video)
Saturated Fat Phobia Lacks Scientific Basis – Dr Joseph Mercola
Chef Pete Evans (for paleo recipes) and The Paleo Mom
Christine Cronau – Author of The Fat Revolution
Diet Evolution friendly recipes on my Pinterest page.