On Saturday August 30th, I attended Low Carb Downunder in Melbourne. This sold old event featured many of my idols in the field including the infamous (and polarizing) Tim Noakes, Gary Fetke from No Fructose, and Steve Phinney, co-author of “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” – my bible and a resource ALL of my clients are encouraged (forced) to read. We were also graced with the presence of Pete Evans, celebrity chef and recent author and advocate of The Paleo Way, whose passion for the real food revolution is nothing short of contagious.
The day itself wasn’t a revolution as such for me, but it did affirm some key points on low carb high fat (LCHF) that I wanted to pass on to you. In summary:
- LCHF, like anything nutrition related, is extremely relative. The grams of carbohydrate per day depends completely on insulin sensitivity. Research shows that the morbidly obese must reduce their intake to 25g/day, but everyone else will have their own unique number.
- Obesity is a disease of the brain. If you are chronically overweight, you no longer possess self-regulation or a natural inbuilt satiety mechanism (otherwise known as appestat failure). Chronically high insulin then tells you’re appestat that you’re starving – you must cut the carbs to control your insulin so you can physically control your appetite.
- In terms of diabetes, remember that it is not insulin resistance that causes the diseases, it’s the carbs. You can have insulin resistance without diabetes and control with LCHF. On the other hand, following conventional diabetes education (i.e. wholegrains and the food pyramid) will keep you on pharmaceutical intervention for life, and offer no disease reduction or reversal potential.
- Current and new research into LCHF for cancer prevention is phenomenal. As usual, we’re up against Big Pharma here, as chemotherapy alone is a multi-billion dollar industry. This isn’t my area, but I refer you to Dr Kieron Rooney for more information.
- The real killers are sugar, refined carbohydrates (read: gluten) and refined seed oils. (Hopefully you’ve heard me say this a million times already, but just in case you haven’t…)
- Fat adaptation in endurance athletes can lead to glucose sparing at a rate of three times a carb-dependant athlete. This is hugely significant as the duration extends, and why all my long course athletes begin by lowering their starchy carbohydrate intake and following additional specific fat adaptation techniques.
- Continue to self-experiment. Particularly if you’re interested in a ketosis approach to LCHF, I strongly suggest you base your intake on your personal numbers. The new ketonix breath ketone analyzer is a great place to start. (Please note: I am not necessarily recommending this approach, but encouraging you to do it properly if you wish to go down this route. I also recommend you purchase Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity if you’d like to learn more).
- If what you’re doing now is working, then you don’t necessarily have to change anything, but please ensure you are considering the downstream/long-term implications of a high carbohydrate diet. Potential complications you’ll want to avoid include everything from increased inflammation and poor recovery, to diabetes, liver disease and cancer.
- There is some fantastic new research coming out about the benefits of ‘train low, race high’ in regards to long course fuelling, so stay tuned for the published work and my personal experience here.
As always, the answer is real food. You don’t even have to go “low carb” to start experiencing the health benefits. (Who knew?!)
For photos and more on my experience at Low Carb Downunder 2014, please head to instagram.
Need help transitioning to a real food lifestyle or lower carbohydrate intake but not sure where to start? Book a consultation with me here and let me show you how easy it is.