Another one jumps off the bandwagon

Goodbye CutTheCarb

In the beginning of 2008 I read Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories Bad Calories. This book shifted my paradigm (and that of so many others). I probably misinterpreted it in those days, but it made me so carbophobic that I practically eliminated all carbohydrates from my diet. I mainly ate meat, fish, eggs, coconut oil and butter. And I surely lost weight, but in the long run I also got starvation symptoms like irritability and shakiness.
After years of self-studying biology and physiology and reading a lot of blog posts, books and scientific publications I have come to the conclusion that when you’re not diabetic or metabolically derailed you can safely consume reasonable quantities of carbohydrates. Reasonable is somewhere between 15 and 30 percent of your calories; this as long as you match your calorie intake with your level of activity. Starch, which consists of mainly glucose, is the preferred carbohydrate. Fructose, fructan and lactose can best be firmly restricted.
Of course I brought this insight into practice and it resulted in a desired weight gain mainly coming from extra muscle. Adding about 100 net grams of carbs very much improved my body composition. Also the irritability and shakiness disappeared.
I'm coming more and more to a point of view that low carb can be a very useful approach for weight loss and glycemic management for the short run, but it is not optimal in maintenance and perhaps ultimately unhealthy.  It is courageous, IMO for folks like Don Matesz and Hans to shift course when a diet is not working for them.  

But what I find interesting in Hans' case is that he's still advocating what up until a few years ago would be considered by just about everyone to be a low carb diet.  Even 30% carb would mean a relatively high fat diet by most standards - at least 40% but likely 50%.  This is the "low to middle of the road" LoBAG diet.  If I were giving out advice to Hans, it would be to keep his website title as is!   Don't dismantle a thing, just continue to share your journey.  For most 15-30% will indeed be "cutting the carb" and it would be nice to have more voices out there still restricting carb but not to starchophobic extremes.  This bipolar orthorexia -- that if it's not VLC/VHF it's not "authentic" LC  -- and the only alternative is to go HC/LF has really got to stop!  So I hope Hans will reconsider "saying goodbye".


Anonymous said…
'Even 30% carb would mean a relatively high fat diet by most standards - at least 40% but likely 50%.'

I watch calories and macronutrient ratios. If I replace carbs with protein, and try to keep fats in check (aim for low-fat, because hidden fats are everywhere, anyway), then I have a good shot at staying within my calorie limit.

I think the LOBAG studies have people eating zone-ish; that is, not only do they eat the recommended proportions of macronutrients, but they eat them together in a meal. Eating pasta with low-fat tomato sauce, for example, would require meat to be eaten with it (I smell meatballs!)

Delish carby things are usually just that: carbs, with some fat. When I look at my own macronutrient proportions, they are just the averages from all my logged food. I probably DID have crackers with some fat.

Did I misunderstand LOBAG? Weren't the meals designed to be balanced a certain way, and then eaten, without 'just fat,' 'just protein,' or 'just carbohydrate' eaten at times?
CarbSane said…
LoBAG-30 seems Zonish to me. This is the group that did the Dreamfields study so I think they're talking "balanced meals" where they would have paired the pasta with a meat sauce that didn't have added fat and I would think some sort of veggie.
CarbSane said…
I think you hit on something else too. The tasty carbs are the ones that they come with fat in them. LC'ers claim the fat has all the flavor, but I don't buy that as just eating the fat is not all that palatable either.