Low-carb moderate protein diets can help you shed body fat, improve metabolism, boost energy levels, promote longevity, protect brain function, boost mental clarity, improve physical stamina and endurance, and more.
Starting out as a dietician, Volek was taught that low-fat diets were healthy and that saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided. But in working with diabetics, he kept feeling that something was “off.”
Dr. Volek said in this interview, “In essence, it drove me to want to understand metabolism and nutrition at a much deeper level,” he says. “The things I was reading, the things I was taught were not really based on a lot of science, and were a lot of half-truths and misinformation, which still persist today,” he notes.
Low-Carb Diets Can Benefit Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike
Dr. Volek decided to do a self-experiment with a very low-carb diet. His experimentation began in the early ’90s and, to his great surprise, his low-carb experiment proved to be anything but harmful. He has spent the last almost two decades conducting research on how humans respond to diets that are very low in carbohydrates.
Is Your Diet Driving Your Metabolism in the Right Direction?
Most Americans are primarily burning glucose as their primary fuel, which actually inhibits their body’s ability to access and burn body fat. Healthy fat burns far more efficiently than carbs.
As noted by Volek, humans evolved to primarily burn fat as fuel — not carbs — and yet that’s not how we’re feeding our bodies.
“As a result, we’re running into a lot of metabolic problems, because we’re constantly inhibiting our body’s ability to burn fuel that we evolved to burn,” he says.
We have to eat to live. Without generating ATP (in your mitochondria) you cannot survive. The question is how to do that efficiently, without generating harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can destroy your mitochondria and contribute to disease? It’s all about keeping your mitochondria healthy, and low-carb, high-fat diets do that far more effectively than high-carb, low-fat diets.
Healthy Fat Is a ‘Cleaner’ Burning Fuel
When you burn fat, you generate 30 percent less carbon dioxide, suggesting it’s a lot “cleaner” fuel.
“There’s a lot of ‘exhaust’ associated with burning carbs for fuel … free radicals, reactive oxygen species … That contributes to the metabolic problems we’re seeing.”
In essence, the reason why low-carb diets work so well is because it helps you escape this non-fiber, carb-based metabolism that depends on insulin levels to drive blood sugar into cells and use carbs for fuel.
Volek also introduces another term: “carb intolerance” — a metabolic impairment that you suffer from if you’re insulin resistant or prediabetic.
As noted by Volek: “It really makes nosense if you’re carb intolerant to be consuming half your energy from nonfiber carbs, and to be trying to force your body to burn more carbs.”
Healthy Versus Harmful Fats
Healthy dietary fats are natural, unprocessed fat, found in real foods such as seeds, nuts, butter, olives, avocado, or coconut oil. Processed vegetable oils will make your health worse.
If you’re overweight, teach your body to burn excess fat, and then, once you’ve reached your maintenance weight, the majority of fat your body will be burning is that from dietary sources.
How to Make the Conversion from Burning Sugar to Burning Fat
The key is to restrict non-fiber carbohydrates – sugars and glucose (i.e. anything that converts to sugar: soda, processed grains, pasta, bread and cookies).
And eat fiber carbs such as vegetable carbs that will push your metabolism in the right direction.
Did You Know?
“Your body can burn both carbs and fat, but your body will burn carbs first.
Your body cannot store high levels of carbs. Your body will convert the carbs you eat into fat. That sets the stage for metabolic problems.
But how do you train the body to burn fat; it all starts with removing the availability of carbohydrate because, as long as it’s there, it will inhibit burning of fat.
To shift fuel use over to fat restrict the amount of glucose and starches, and your body naturally shifts over to preferring fat for fuel. It does take some time to adapt to that. Your cells have to shift over their machinery to handle the increased levels of fat and lipid-based fuels. It takes a matter of weeks to get that adaptation.
But once it’s there, they’re fairly robust adaptations that don’t just go away. This is why there is an adaptation period to a low-carb diet. It can be disrupted though if you reintroduce carbs. But a lot of the adaptations do remain.”
Part Two will discuss:
Finding Your Ideal Carb Level
Ketogenic Diet Can Benefit Many Chronic Health Problems
Jeff Volek, Ph.D., and registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, has done enormous work in the field of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, investigating how it affects human health and athletic performance. Volek has published many scientific articles as well as several books, including “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” and “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.” Here is a link to those books https://www.amazon.com/s?k=volek&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Both of these books were co-authored with Dr. Stephen Phinney, a physician who has studied low-carb diets even longer than Volek.
The source of this information is Dr. Mercola’s Post Why Low-Carb Diets May Be Ideal for Most People, Including Athletes https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/31/high-fat-low-carb-diet-benefits.aspx
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