Evidence Based Eating NZ (EBE NZ) notes with alarm the recent string of ‘low carb, high fat’ diet articles being promoted by Stuff reporter John McCrone.
While it is acknowledged there can be short term weight loss, and even some help in controlling blood sugar levels, consumers should be well aware that there are significant short term and long term health hazards associated with this way of eating.
EBE NZ acknowledges some good aspects of this diet, – that is an increased consumption of vegetables and a total avoidance of refined processed foods.
However, these measures alone may account for the weight loss and better blood sugars. Also the fatty meat may also help control weight, by dulling the appetite. But the extra consumption of red meat and its dangerous saturated fats will most certainly have long term harmful health effects.
Short term side effects of a ‘low carb, high fat diet’ include:
· Impaired artery function1
· Often elevated LDL cholesterol2,3,4
· Nutrient deficiencies5
· Constipation due to low fibre
· Nausea, fatigue and headaches5
· Impaired glucose tolerance6.
Long term risks of a ‘low carb, high fat diet’ include:
· Increased risk of dying from all causes7
· Worsening heart disease, due to decreased blood flow8
· Impaired artery function and increased heart attacks and strokes9
· Increased risk of colon cancer10.
EBE NZ instead promotes a far healthier diet that not only will prevent but can also reverses type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well. That is the adoption of a ‘whole food plant-based’ diet.
This diet is high in whole food carbohydrates and low in fat, in fact it avoids all animal products including red and white meat, eggs and dairy, while it promotes consumption of as much fruit and vegetables as you like.
The ‘low carb, high fat’ diet has also been shown to be difficult to adhere to in the long term, whereas the ‘whole food plant-based’ diet is simple and once the transition is made, easy to keep true to. Also there is now a wealth of new plant based meat and dairy like products which makes the transition even easier.
As well earlier this year Professor Mann of Otago University came out with new research11showing that Low carb diets cannot gain enough fibre for good health.
Finally people with diabetes should think twice about adopting a ‘low carb, high fat’ diet, as it will do nothing to prevent heart disease, in fact it will increase the chances. Heart disease is one of the most serious dangers for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.