This post is gonna be short and sweet. It was triggered by this:
And this: Paleo Diet Myth Testimonials
I’m not going to write a long post on this. It’s just something I need to get off my chest.
I just wanted to say that I am really tired of telling people on a paleo diet to eat more carbs. People suffering from what Paul Jaminet outlined as “ glucose or carbohydrate deficiency”
People who start off great on a low carb diet, then start suffering a few days or even months down the track, health starts to go backwards, sleep is poor, energy is low, low libido, recovery from exercise is slow, perhaps even hypothyroid symptoms.They might start to gain fat again, or stop losing weight and get sick easily.
There are numerous examples on other websites / blogs of people who have developed severe carb phobia, suffered from “very low carb is good and carbs can kill” mentality, had health that suffered, ate more carbs, then felt better, had health improvements and even started to lose weight. And there is also much debate about whether or not it is better to be very low carb or not – No I’m not going there.
I’ve always been a more moderate carb eater myself, and whenever I’ve gone very low carb, I’ve never felt my best. I dislike having a high fat diet needed to replace the carbs, and my appetite control is worse on very low carb.
But that’s me, and as I’ve come from the Zone camp to Paleo, and had the experience of seeing the Zone / moderate carb diet work for hundreds of people – short and long-term, I guess you could say I’m biased.
Anyhow to re-phrase – this is how I view carbs:
Carbohydrates do not Kill – Excess carbohydrates and sugars from the wrong sources (grains, refined grains, fructose, sugar etc) can cause havoc for many people, especially when combined with other damaging food (industrial vegetable oils, excess omega 6), and lack of nutrients, and may lead / contribute to illness (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer etc) that could eventually kill them.
Carbohydrates, eaten in the right amount, i.e. is appropriate to an individual’s metabolism and activity level, eaten in a way that does not spike blood glucose in a damaging way, that come from non damaging sources (for that person*), and are combined with a high nutrient diet, are very healthy!
*personally I do not eat rice or potato, but feel great and have stable weight eating other types of starches
Post updated: Feb 14
More carbohydrates and less protein, to kick-start weight loss (this from a commenter on Robb Wolf’s paleo forum, who took the advice to up her carbs)
I am THRILLED to report that upping my carbs is the first thing that has helped in over 2 1/2 years! I made the changes I listed, but had up to 2 pieces of fruit a day, instead of the one I have listed. When I want a snack, I have been reaching for veggies or fruit instead of meat, and I am happy to report:
weight down after the weekend (instead of up)
less cravings/more calm hunger (not ravenous)
puffy face in the morning – gone
not freezing to death
more energy throughout the day and sleeping more soundly at night
hair loss is not better yet, but what do I expect after only 3 days!
These may seem minor things, but they all affect my quality of life in small ways, and all are symptoms of hypothyroid. Mainly I just want to LGN, and losing hair instead of weight was definitely not moving me toward that goal . I’m convinced that the very low carb diet was preventing the conversion of T4 –> T3 in my case, and may be true for you too. I’ve been down the low carb rabbit hole — “If I’m not losing on 30 g, then I should go 20g. If I’m not losing on 20g, then I should try for 0 g. If I’m not losing on that, I need to cut calories — and there’s NO WAY I’m adding carbs back in.” I understand the fear of insulin spike and hunger, but there are other forms of metabolic derangement, and 2 1/2 years of unsuccessful dieting eventually became bigger and scarier to me than a grumbly belly. So, I gave the 50-100 g level a try. To be honest, though, I feel like my hunger got more under control after only 2 days of HIGHER carb, than on all of the nearly zero carb days. Go figure!
Anyway, I hope the info helps the low T3 crowd. Good luck!
Fructose can Kill, might be the most appropriate statement:
(HT: that paleo guy)
Also a useful discussion from Paul Jaminet on Higher Carb Dieting: Pros and Cons, be sure to read the comments as well.