Low carbohydrate diets are not new. They have been used as a method of weight reduction and to control blood sugar since the mid-1800s. William Banting wrote the first published book about a low carb diet after trying every other method to lose weight with no success. His book is still in publication and although the baton has been picked up many times since then, this method of weight control is still considered a “fad diet” in some circles. The low carb diet was popularised in the 1970s by Robert Atkins and the South Beach diet. In South Africa the renowned Professor Tim Noakes encouraged the use of the low carb diet, much to his personal cost by way of ridicule from his colleagues, although he has since been exonerated. In his book Good Calories, Bad Calories Gary Taubes explores the science behind the Low Carb diet and dispels many popular myths. It makes for really fascinating reading and is to be highly recommended for those who are considering trying out the LCHF way of eating.
Why would you choose this way of eating?
Not everyone needs to cut their carbohydrate consumption. If you don’t have a problem metabolising carbs, you are insulin-sensitive and keeping to a well balanced diet that includes high fibre, eating a few carbs is quite OK. However, if you have a problem with high blood sugar (hyper-glycaemia and hyper-insulinaemia) and this is causing you to gain weight and lose control of your blood sugars you are insulin-resistant. This may mean that you are either Pre-Diabetic or may have Type-2 Diabetes. Your GP may prescribe Diabetes medications. They may also suggest losing weight and taking more exercise. That is probably as far as it will go in terms of advice. For some people, choosing a low carbohydrate way of eating makes a lot of sense, considering Type-2 Diabetes is an inability to properly metabolise carbohydrates. Most people will benefit long-term from reducing their sugar intake and of course there is a lot of hidden sugar in processed foods. Also, if you eat good-quality, nutritious, whole and unprocessed foods, you are less exposed to the problems associated with empty calories.
1 . You want to reduce your sugar consumption and also your carbohydrate intake because we all know that carbs, especially white flour, white pasta, white rice, white potatoes, are converted to sugar once they are digested and have the same effect on the blood as white sugar does.
2 . If you suffer from, or are at risk of Type-2 Diabetes, LCHF might be useful to help reduce your HbA1c (blood glucose levels). Type-2 Diabetes is a disease of poor carbohydrate management.
3 . You have insulin sensitivity (which might mean you are on the way to Type-2 Diabetes). If you suffer from or are at risk of Type-2 Diabetes, LCHF might be useful to help reduce your HbA1c (blood glucose levels)
4.You know that eating a lot of refined carbs, especially as we get older, can increase the risk of developing obesity, Type-2 Diabetes, Dementia, and many other chronic diseases that shorten our lives, or make our lives less enjoyable because of poor health.