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Diet & Nutrition >>> Diet Articles & News



The Hidden Dangers Of Low Carb Diets

By: DAVE WOYNAROWSKI, M.D.
The World's Top Anti-Aging Specialist

The low carb diet phase has been sweeping the country for some time now.

It has gotten to the point where entire companies are being put out of business because they do not offer low carb alternatives to their traditional products.

While I personally follow what would be considered by most to be a low carb diet, I want to point out the dangers of such a diet and what I do to avoid them.

But first let me say that most people are really not in danger from these diets because at least of them do not stay on them long enough to do any harm or good!!!

In general it takes about 6 weeks to see much benefit from these diets and not inconsequently, this is about the time it is safe to say on them.

After that serious alterations in the body's biochemistry may occur.

In a sense the information in this email will enable you to extend the window of safety that exists for these diets.

First let's talk about what is good about low carb/no carb diets.

The major benefit comes form the fact that they dramatically reduce insulin levels.

With the epidemic proportions of Type 2 Diabetes in this country, this can only be a good thing.

What happens in most people as they age is their ability to process sugar declines. Much of this is due to the fact that over a lifetime their pancreas (the organ that makes insulin which lowers blood sugar) has been exposed to far too high levels of sugar.

As a result it's had to crank out far too much insulin. Couple that with the fact that with the fact that many of the body's cells actually reduce their insulin receptors when exposed to too much sugar and you have the recipe for obesity and insulin resistant (type 2) diabetes.

By dramatically reducing insulin levels and blood sugar levels low carb/no carb diets promote the use of fats as the main fuel.

This can initially lead to lower blood fat levels and possibly lower cholesterol levels.

In order for the diet to be effective as a weight loss aid however, the number of calories consumed still has to be less than the number of calories taken in.

Any other situation and you will not lose, and possibly gain weight. So stuffing yourself with low carb foods does not automatically lead to weight loss.

Fortunately fat in the gut acts to reduce appetite as I pointed out in the May 10th email "How to Lose Weight and Burn Fat Faster than you ever dreamed possible even if your Metabolism is as Slow as Molasses in an Alaskan Winter!"

Finally and this, may sound very familiar to you, hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin from too much sugar consumption) is an inflammatory state!

Recall that inflammation is at the root of many many disease of aging such as heart disease, strike, high blood pressure arthritis and Alzheimer's to name a few.

If this is so, where do these diets go wrong?

The main problems are 2.

First, people do not consume enough anti-oxidants on these diets because in many cases they do not consume enough raw vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Next fruits are considered "free foods". Many fruits have a very high glycemic index and glycemic load.

Glycemic index is how they compare to table sugar or concentrated sugar water depending on the scale you are using.

Glycemic load is the total amount of sugar in the food per serving size.

Examples of high sugar fruits include bananas which many people are eating for potassium, grapes, water and most other melons.

All fruit juices should be avoided on these diets!

Fruits that are ok for consumption on low carb (but not no carb diets) are most berries, apples, oranges (not orange juice!) pears, and apricots.

STOP!!!! Read this again. I am not talking about normal eating here. I am talking about low/no carb diets.



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If you struggle with swings in your insulin levels and spikes in your blood sugar leading to energy peaks and valleys in your day. Or, if you are struggling against stubborn mid section fat and are trying to get rid of it but can't seem to no matter how hard you are exercising you may be dealing with a metabolism that is insulin saturated and quite possibly lacks growth hormone. 

Since the body is an oxidative furnace, the lack of anti-oxidants in these diets can set you up for free radical toxicity and all of the pro-aging effects it has.

Next the low/no carb diets are notoriously high in saturated and Omega 6 fats because they stress the eating of meats of any kind over vegetables and other carbs.

By now if you've read any of my emails you know that the Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio is absolutely critical. It seems to be one of the primary determinants of the overall level of inflammation in our bodies.

Recently I have written how high Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid levels are linked to heart disease, Alzheimer's, and depression to name a few conditions.

I have also told you many times that the average American has an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio as high as 30 to 1!

Here are some oils that are loaded with omega 6 fats: safflower,sunflower,corn,cottonseed,sesame and peanut. These oils contain NO Omega 3 fats.

Soybean, canola, walnut, and flax contain both omega 6 and omega 3.

Recall that plant omega3 fatty acids are not the right length to be effectively used by the human body.

Fish Oil is 100% Omega 3 fatty acid!

If you are on a low car/no carb diet of any kind and you are not supplementing with Fish Oil, you are probably setting yourself up for inflammatory damage.

A while back I asked a question of several experts in the field, including Dr Barry Sears whom I respect greatly. It was, " What happens to the Omega 6 to omega 3 ratios in people on Atkins and south Beach diets?"

When no one was able to give me an answer I decided to do my own little impromptu study in my own patients who were on this type of diet.

What I found was that at the end of 6 weeks, these level (Omega 6 to Omega 3) got even worse, some approaching 45 to 1.

This is clearly an unhealthy situation and I got those people on my fish Oil as soon as I possibly could.

After this amount of time the cell membrane's make up changes dramatically because all of these fats we eat truly act as drugs, either pro or anti-inflammatory.

They also get right into the cell membranes at the level of each individual cell and alter the cell's function.

Some of the changes that occur when too much omega 6 are in the cell membranes and in the cells themselves are: poor utilization of hormones, poor response to stress by the cells, accumulation of toxic metabolites and free radicals.

Even scarier is that the essential fatty acid balance actually can effect of genetic material expresses as well as changing that basic material.

It is felt that this may lead to many types of cancer!!!

Again in previous articles I discussed the individual mechanisms by which fish oil changes this balance away from favoring cancer.

This explains its usage in colon, breast and prostate cancers.

ONCE AGAIN the BOTTOM LINE!!!

Do Not go on a nocarb/lowcarb diet without supplementing with Fish Oil.

Copyright 2004


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Editor's Note:

 

The FDA has not evaluated all of these statements. This email is for educational purposes only. Always consult your own personal doctor for medical advice and follow it even it contradicts what is said in this article.




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