Part I here.
Part II here.
Part III - Is a low carb regiment dangerous? We begin with the end of the previous post:
Six years after he lost 50 lbs with his low carb regime, Mr. Banting published the fourth edition of his "Letter on Corpulence." By then his name had become a verb - 'to bant' meant to diet - by following his published low carb regime. Mr. Banting had kept those 50 lbs off all those years and added that "My other bodily ailments have become mere matters of history."Still, in 1865 and today, one hundred and forty-four years later, some people continue to ask, "Is low-carb dangerous?"
Remember Mr. Banting's daily regime: Mostly meat, fish and fowl and a bit of fruit and veggies. No sugars, starches, bread, milk, sweets or potatoes.Few experts disagree with what he stopped eating. It's what he did eat, meat, that has caused alarm for some folks in the past fifteen years.
The reason? Meat has saturated fats, which are thought by some to be associated with heart trouble. You know, clogging of the arteries and such. And since low-carb recommends eating meats, bacon and similar food, it was put on the high risk list by these concerned folks.
I don't consider myself to be an expert. I'm simply someone extremely interested in health. And not only do I want to avoid what happened to my father, but I also want to be around as my little man grows up. So here's my take:
Let's agree that meat has saturated fat in it. And let's agree also that meat has had saturated fats in it since the beginning of time.
I have three questions for someone who asks: Since it's high in saturated fat, is a low-carb regime safe?
1. Why has saturated fat become a problem now? Our ancestors survived for thousands of years by eating animals. There was no heart disease reported then. And we're all still here, aren't we?
2. Is it possible the recent association of saturated fat and heart disease might have been off the mark? It wouldn't be the first time they've been wrong about something.
The meticulously researched 601-page book, Good Calories, Bad Calories (Gary Taubes, 2007) concludes that dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization. The problem is the carbohydrates in the diet, their effect on insulin secretion, and the hormonal regulation of homeostasis - the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. (p. 454)
3. If it's not the fat, could it be the meat? There were no industrial feedlots back in the day. No one was force-feeding the animals corn and soy. Instead, they ate grass, their natural food source. No one gave them growth hormones and shot them full of antibiotics. Cows and other animals in the feedlots are mostly sick now, reports author Michael Pollan, since they have a great deal of trouble trying to digest the corn and soy.
Might part of the resistance to a low carb approach to weight loss be a result of not making the bad meat verses good meat distinction?
My personal experience with a real food, low-carb, healthful way of eating has been great. The catch? All food, as much as possible, must be real. No highly processed foods. No toxins. No artificial ingredients. No other poisons or chemicals.