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Low carbohydrate eating isn’t just about losing weight or reversing chronic disease. It’s a lifestyle with wide ranging benefits. Based on the science of eating the nutritious food consistent with what our ancestors ate for at least 2.5 million years (i.e. high in animal fat and protein, with limited amounts of seasonal fruits, roots and shoots) (1)(2), low carb improves your quality of life and prevents disease.
The benefits of low-carbohydrate eating inside the body are immediate and occur even in the absence of weight loss (3) . Reduced insulin secretion prevents the development of conditions like diabetes or obesity later in life (4). Low-carbohydrate eating improves hormonal and cholesterol profiles, and reduces low-grade chronic inflammation - which is linked to a wide range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (3).
Another benefit of low carbohydrate eating is that you can often effortlessly skip meals during the day (intermittent fasting) and yet maintain full energy levels – perfect for busy schedules. Studies have also reported improved health-related quality of life in participants eating a low carbohydrate diet, when compared to a low fat diet (5).
Our philosophy at The Low Carb Clinic is not just about avoiding carbohydrates: it's about maximising nutrient density. An essential nutrient is a nutrient that the body cannot make: it must be obtained from the diet. There are essential amino acids (including leucine and tryptophan), essential fatty acids (including linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid – commonly called omega-3 and omega-6), essential minerals (including calcium, sodium, chromium and iron), and essential vitamins (including A, D, thiamine, and vitamin C) – and of course, water is essential as well. Humans cannot survive these - but there is no essential carbohydrate.
The carbohydrate serves two main purposes in the human body: to be used as energy, or stored as fat. The carbohydrate offers no essential nutrients to build or preserve the body’s structures (6)(7) . The liver can manufacture all the glucose it needs from protein and fat – there is no such thing as a carbohydrate deficiency. By removing carbohydrates, the team at the Low Carb Clinic will direct your diet plan towards foods high in essential fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals; promoting overall health and wellbeing.
Noakes, T. D. (2015). Cholesterol is not an important risk factor for heart disease, and the current dietary recommendations do more harm than good. The 2012 University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences centenary debate, 28. Cape Town, South Africa.
Cordain, L., Miller, J., Eaton, S., Mann, N., Hold, S., & Speth, J. (2000). Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in world-wide hunter-gatherer diets. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(3), 682-692. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/71.3.682
Feinman, R., Pogozelski, W., Astrup, A., Bernstein, R., Fine, E., Westman, E., . . . Worm, N. (2015). Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: critical review and evidence base. Nutrition, 31, 1-13.
DiNicolantonio, J., Lucan, S., & O'Keefe, J. (2015). The evidence for saturated fat and for sugar related to coronary heart disease. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 464-473. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2015.11.006
Guldbrand, H., Lindstorom, T., Dizdar, B., Bunjaku, B., Ostgren, C., Hystrom, F., & Bachrach-Lindstrom, M. (2014). Randomization to a low-carbohydrate diet advice improves health related quality of life compared with a low fat diet at similar weight loss in Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 106, 221-227.
Institute of Medicine. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, amino acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press . doi:https://doi.org/10.17226/10490
Westman, E. (2002, May 01). Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 75(5), 951-953. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/75.5.951a