Atkins and Low Carb Weight Loss
High protein, low-fat, low-carb diets cause weakness, nausea & diarrhea...
It has been suggested from evidence of the dietary practices of hunter-gatherer populations, both present day and historical, that humans avoid diets that contain too much protein. The short term symptoms of these high-protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are weakness, nausea and diarrhea. These symptoms will disappear when the protein content is reduced to a more moderate 20-25% of calories and fat content is increased to compensate. When physicians and nutritionists tested carbohydrate restriction they did so with fatty meat and diets that were 75-80% fat and only 25% protein. This mixture had no side-effects, was well tolerated and is most consistent with diets eaten by populations like the Inuits, who live almost exclusively on (high-fat) animal products.
I thought this topic was interesting because we've all been told for years that eating fat is so bad for us. He began that discussion by pointing out that high-protein diets that are low in fat can be toxic. I've been trying to adjust my diet to test Taubes theory and have noticed that I do feel so much better when I eat a higher fat diet.
Another thing Taubes points out is that we should not be concerned with calorie intake - eat when we feel hungry and eat until we feel satisfied - not full - just satisfied.
Amen to that!
on 2/3/11 7:38 pm, edited 2/3/11 7:38 pm
Recently I've read research papers that concurred with the points made above. It discussed experiments done on high protein diets vs real life experiences of europeans forced by cir****tance to adopt the Inuit traditional diet. Studies claiming high protein diets resulted in weakness were too short in duration for the body to adjust burning fat for energy vs carbohydrates.
I do ok no matter what I eat. However, I feel and look best on protein foods. Carbs result in energy crashes shortly after plus increased hunger.
on 2/3/11 8:18 pm
But it's an interesting point, isn't it? How often do we have to remind CARb posters to increase their calories, especially fat? And when people feel bad eating low-fat high-protein diets, who can blame them for stopping it?
When I consider the Atkins protein charts (sticked at the top of our list of threads) it seems that most protein ranges average about 100-110 grams/day -- roughly 400-450 calories. And that rightly would add up to about 20-25% of most of our calorie intakesd of about 1400-1800 calories a day, so I guess that in general, we seem to be right on.
Thank you for posting this!
on 2/4/11 5:20 pm
I must disagree on the stillman diet. It fell by the wayside because stillman died of heart disease. He was already old and recovering from a massive heart attack when he came up wiht the diet.
The negative reports about the stillman diet are grossly exagerated as with other low carb plans. As with any diet, some people may well become sickly. It was not the standard for those on the stillman diet. I did stillman as a teen as did many people I know. It was then the only way I could loose weight. I still revert back to it when I can't get into ketosis even at induction level carbs.
Like with atkins, if you maintain sufficient calories, take vitamins, get enough calcium, you do not become sickly. I kept the weight off until I started eating carbs. Then came the food pyramid and the rest of the nghtmare is history. I wish I had never stoped returning to stillman whenever my weight increased by five pounds.
I just saw your post about gaining on your trip! Don't feel too bad about it - at least you enjoyed yourself! I gained 3 lbs after Christmas and didn't even do anything fun! ;-)
You guys freezing down there? We're going to be down there tomorrow - do I need my parka and mukluks???! ha!
Eating low carb definitely helps me eat until satisfied but an interesting thing is that if I eat just a little bit past that point, cravings start to set in. So for someone that hasn't weighed what I do today since around 1977, I'd say I've been eating past that point of need/satisfied for many decades. This is all a learning curve to figure out how to eat as my body needs.
I spent around 17 years in OA where I learned to follow a food plan and that worked pretty well but I never got below 189 in all those years. The years that I was low carb were the easiest. The years that I was vegan/no sugar were harder because I was hungry all the darn time.
Low carb rocks but I eventually grow tired of all the meat and cheese. I just got home from Costco with a huge package of organic celery to give me some much loved crunch in my life! :)
The sad thing about adkins is the fact that all of the butter, cream cheese and cheese one can have, tastes so much better with some bread, crackers or potatoes to hold them up!!
"Me agreeing with you doesn't preclude you from being a deviant."
My food plan calls for eating 3x a day (protein first) with no snacks, ever, and no protein supplementation. So actually Atkins is the very best plan for me because it gets rid of the cravings that carbs give me to snack. Let's face it, a carby snack is over the moon good, but totally not part of my surgeon's plan. At 6 months I was exercising 2-3 hours, 7 days a week and eating 1 string cheese snack. Surgeon told me to knock it off because snacks grow over the years and so will my body if I keep it up.
Atkins is the easiest to follow with the 3x a day, no snacking, though I do occasionally throw in a couple of pork rinds etc when I'm going to head for the unmentionables.
Very few people evolved on the Inuit diet and I don't think very many of us would trive on that kind of diet. I could no more do that kind of diet than I could do a low fat diet.
I need to go buy that book today.
"Me agreeing with you doesn't preclude you from being a deviant."
I hope you get the book - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! I'm actually thinking of re-reading it - or at least portions of it - just to get a better understanding.
If your fats are the highest percentage of your intake then you are most likely on target with what Taubes believes is what our bodies thrive on best. You are right that most of us could not thrive on an Inuit diet - Taubes thinks that much of our diet is based on genetics/ancestry. It makes sense that Inuit people would eat a high fat diet because they need the calories to maintain body heat. You would think that they would have a high rate of obesity and cancer - but actually that is not the case at all (at least before carbs were introduced in their diets!). Purdy interesting!