Saturday, March 12, 2011

Danger of being too low carb

Paul of the excellent Perfect Health Diet (buy the book, it is fantastic) has had some posts on the dangers of zero carb diets:

Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets, I: Can There Be a Carbohydrate Deficiency?
Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets, II: Mucus Deficiency and Gastrointestinal Cancers
Danger of Zero-Carb Diets III: Scurvy
Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets, IV: Kidney Stones

All very interesting and challenging.

Here is another possible concern:

High-protein, reduced-carbohydrate weight-loss diets promote metabolite profiles likely to be detrimental to colonic health.

Another possible mechanism: the loss of beneficial compounds produced by gut flora feeding on plant foods.

With less fiber in the diet, there is less butyrate production - butyrate is beneficial. Apparently the high-protein low-carb low-fiber diet causes gut flora to shift to protein metabolism which causes release of toxic nitrogen compounds. Overall gut flora may become more pathogenic, less commensal.


In the last few months I have started eating more carbs.  Sweet potatoes, potatoes and some tapioca.  NO WHEAT, no beer, no bread.   I have started to feel better -  the grain free bit has sorted out my IBS - and am getting leaner.

Interesting that Kurt is also having more carbs recently.  


MAS said...

I too am upping my carb content as we head into to spring. More daylight = more blue light = more carbs. At least that is the approach I am testing. Next winter, I'll return to lower carb levels.

G said...

Broda Barnes identified adrenal and thyroid insufficiency in his patients. Ketosis intolerance is a cardinal sign of both. I didn't realize this myself and pushed the ketotic thing too far. Strong adrenal health is a necessity for successful ketosis, IMHO...

Nice post.

Mark Cancellieri said...

I have been trying the Tim Ferriss "slow carb" diet for the last two weeks. I lost 5.5 pounds so far, which is pretty impressive since I am eating more. I never used to eat breakfast, but he recommends it (so I eat one whole egg and some Egg Beaters egg whites, mixed with salsa). I also haven't been exercising, so the effect is all about what I'm eating.

The slow carb diet is not low in carbs, but it eliminates sugar, highly processed carbohydrates, and grains, even whole grains. I'm still eating plenty of carbohydrates in the form of vegetables though.

I'm doing this as a 28-day experiment on my new blog Experimental Living. It will be interesting to see what the final results are.

Anonymous said...

Two caveats for this study.

Study size: n=17.

And they were all obese.

Obesity alters gut flora. Their activity level (or lack thereof) is another confounder.

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Carbohydrates should not be neglected in order to have a balanced diet.

Andre said...

I prefer a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast for my fiber and carbs.
I go with steel-rolled oats, they take longer to prepare but they have the best fiber content.

Anonymous said...

Paul Jaminet was never on a zero carb diet. I have been Zero Carb for 2 years and feel fantastic. I can show pictures if anyone wants. His diet had vegetables in it, which he says do not count.

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