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Are diets that drastically reduce one of the macros sustainable if there's no medical necessity?

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  • catsdogshcatsdogsh Posts: 130Member Member Posts: 130Member Member
    Low carb is horrible the first week in my experience. After that it's not so bad, and you do lose weight. I don't stick to low carb all week. I do very low carb certain days and that helps me lose. When eating at deficit people need to choose carbs carefully I think. Vegetables are carbs, fruits are carbs, whole grains, brown rice etc.
  • paulgads82paulgads82 Posts: 256Member Member Posts: 256Member Member
    I lasted two weeks. I'm already sick, I can't be doing with that on top of a number of other nasty symptoms. Besides, I love fruit. I'm much happier on then plan I'm on now. Not hungry, sleep well, eat foods I like.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,402Member Member Posts: 5,402Member Member
    When I say diet, I just mean food intake. When I say sustainable, I guess I'm not sure just exactly how long I mean.. let's say years.

    Depends on the person. If they are doing it because they want to it can be. If they are doing it because they think they have to, probably not...
  • kuranda10kuranda10 Posts: 595Member, Premium Member Posts: 595Member, Premium Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »


    I might be like that myself, a typical catered lunch meeting with sandwiches etc will shoot my blood glucose over 8 mmol from a baseline below 5 but I'm not sure how much different that is from a "normal" person on the SAD or equivalent.
    My base line is also below 5. Birthday cake, with all that gritty sugary icing will send me to 7. a sandwich, on a normal kaiser roll type thing, sends me up to 11.

    Yet my 2 hour BG test came back in the normal range.
    edited May 2016
  • LounmounLounmoun Posts: 8,433Member Member Posts: 8,433Member Member
    Are diets that drastically reduce one of the macros sustainable if there's no medical necessity?
    When I say diet, I just mean food intake. When I say sustainable, I guess I'm not sure just exactly how long I mean.. let's say years.

    I think that depends on the individual, their food preferences and if their nutritional needs are still being met.
    If you drastically reduce a macro until you no longer meet your body's needs you will develop problems which will make it unsustainable long term. If all the foods you love contain a lot of carbs for example and you drastically reduce carbs then you will probably find that less sustainable than a moderate carb diet.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Depends on preference and macro. Low protein or low fat diets are a bad idea. Low carb can be sustained for a long time without health issues.

    Umm..not quite. There are several problems associated with low carb diets:
    -Increases insulin resistance.
    -Thyroid problems.
    -Digestive issues. Lower in fiber. Slowed digestion.
    -Low energy, which can impact ability to maintain an active lifestyle.
    -Typically high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, which can increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
    -Eliminates or limits starchy gut healthy foods like potatoes, beans, grains etc which leads to poor colon health.
    -Most carby foods like fruits, starchy veg, potatoes, grains, beans etc are nutrient dense. Fats in and of themselves have few to no vitamins and minerals. So a higher fat, lower carb diet is less nutrient dense.
    -Typically higher in meat which can contribute to inflammation issues.
    -etc.

    Some individuals don't do low carb well.
    However let's look at your claims. Note - I'm not a general proponent of LC - I consider it's primary failure is that it is too restrictive of food choices.

    -Increases insulin resistance - there's some evidence for decreased IR in LC diets (and why some people recommend them for PCOS, etc...)
    See improved IR in obese women: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15047685

    - Thyroid problems - Have not seen reports of this, please clarify
    - Digestive issues - sure, some people see digestive issues in diet change, specific to LC?
    - Low energy - apparently people transitioning to low carb do seem to see low energy but this also appears to be something that clear up after a few thats to a week.
    - "Saturated fat which raises cholesterol" is now something that is challenged, however some people do show poor cholesterol profiles with LC and others do not.
    - any diet that is restrictive may result in nutrient issues and something to consider when going LC but there it doesn't mean one can't have a nutrient rich LC diet. I agree that this might be a concern for some.

    Inflammation in diet is a vast subject - claims from meat, wheat, fruit, carbs, certain vegetables, diary, nuts all exist. Articles published showing reduced inflammation and others show increased inflammation with LC or HC.


    What I've seen on the IR is that extreme low carb can create IR in the short term -- so that there is a much stronger reaction to carbs when reintroduced. As a result doctors may ask patients to go off low carb before a test to avoid false positives. I had some links about this, but am too lazy to find it now. I don't think this is a negative about low carb -- it's just short term as I understand it -- but it is a reason I'm skeptical when people doing extreme versions of keto say that even after losing weight they can't eat fruit or many veg because of their serious IR. But if they are happier on those diets anyway, fine with me, not my business.

    Agree that it seems to have bad effects for cholesterol for some, not for others. Again, my understanding is that some people's cholesterol seems to respond negatively to diet, specifically sat fat, and other's do not, and this is anecdotally confirmed by the experience of various people on MFP, including some who liked the diet but had to go off it. My dad never did low carb, but improved his cholesterol by cutting down on sat fat (not out). On the other hand, so far as I can tell my cholesterol is not negatively affected by diet (and was fine even when I was fat, although it's even better now).

    One thing I've heard that concerns me (since I'm also curious and thinking of trying it) is a consistent link with increased cortisol and related issues with recovery when combined with training.

    I'm not sure that what these people are experiencing is IR - they might confuse post-prandial response for that. It might actually be increased insulin sensitivity. I'm skeptical of anyone saying "it's my IR" without some valid test there.

    I too have the concert with regards to cortisol. Or inflammation in general - I've had gout episodes in the past, and other foot issues - I'm considering changes in diet to see if it helps or not. Who knows.
  • TheDevastatorTheDevastator Posts: 1,451Member Member Posts: 1,451Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    LC may be sustainable but I don't see the reason for it without a medical condition.

    Thanks for sharing.

    No problem.
  • TheDevastatorTheDevastator Posts: 1,451Member Member Posts: 1,451Member Member
    LC may be sustainable but I don't see the reason for it without a medical condition.

    Personal preference is reason enough for choosing a WOE.
    Some people see performance improvements in endurance running.

    Some people supposedly see performance improvements with 80/10/10 and/or raw food diets too.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    LC may be sustainable but I don't see the reason for it without a medical condition.

    Personal preference is reason enough for choosing a WOE.
    Some people see performance improvements in endurance running.

    Some people supposedly see performance improvements with 80/10/10 and/or raw food diets too.

    Indeed - aside from managing potential issues from minimum protein and fats - personal preference should be sufficient reason to choose a WOE.
  • cajuntankcajuntank Posts: 932Member, Premium Member Posts: 932Member, Premium Member
    I think once the minimums (of the three) are met to maintain health (note: I said health and not performance), then an imbalance toward any of the macros is sustainable. This is why you see a diverse range of macros between various populations in different geographies. A person can be healthy eating 80% of their diet from carbs just like another person can be healthy eating 80% of their diet from fat (again, assuming minimums of the other macros have been met to ensure health and assuming that weight is within healthy range).
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    cajuntank wrote: »
    I think once the minimums (of the three) are met to maintain health (note: I said health and not performance), then an imbalance toward any of the macros is sustainable. This is why you see a diverse range of macros between various populations in different geographies. A person can be healthy eating 80% of their diet from carbs just like another person can be healthy eating 80% of their diet from fat (again, assuming minimums of the other macros have been met to ensure health and assuming that weight is within healthy range).

    This is what I think too.

    Of course, what's sustainable in a society where it's the only option vs. one in which we have endless options is going to be different, so for us personal preference and values and beliefs are going to come into play too, but I think all such diets could be sustainable under the right circumstances or for the right person, definitely.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    When I say diet, I just mean food intake. When I say sustainable, I guess I'm not sure just exactly how long I mean.. let's say years.

    I think it would greatly depend on what you mean by "drastically" and "sustainable".

    Humans can exist for quite some time with any macro reduced pretty low. Our bodies are very adaptable.

    But whether someone would stick to a diet with a drastically reduced macro is different matter. It's hard to deprive yourself of something that is readily available if you enjoy it.
  • nvmomketonvmomketo Posts: 12,031Member Member Posts: 12,031Member Member
    I have been LCHF for about a year. I did start it due to medical reasons though. I doubt I would have given up candy or soda or potato chips unless I had a reason - sadly.

    Now that I am used to LCHF, I can happily eat that way for life. Plus I noticed a few health benefits that I would hate to give up.

    Unless there are benefits to a restrictive WoE, such as tasty food, health benefits, moral reasons (like veganism) or athletic performance, I doubt anyone would stick with it. The dieter needs to get something out of a restrictive WoE or why do it?
    Depends on preference and macro. Low protein or low fat diets are a bad idea. Low carb can be sustained for a long time without health issues.

    Umm..not quite. There are several problems associated with low carb diets:
    -Increases insulin resistance.
    -Thyroid problems.
    -Digestive issues. Lower in fiber. Slowed digestion.
    -Low energy, which can impact ability to maintain an active lifestyle.
    -Typically high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, which can increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
    -Eliminates or limits starchy gut healthy foods like potatoes, beans, grains etc which leads to poor colon health.
    -Most carby foods like fruits, starchy veg, potatoes, grains, beans etc are nutrient dense. Fats in and of themselves have few to no vitamins and minerals. So a higher fat, lower carb diet is less nutrient dense.
    -Typically higher in meat which can contribute to inflammation issues.
    -etc.

    This isn't exactly accurate.

    LCHF does not increase IR, it generally lowers it but as others said, physiological IR is a short term issue that disappears after a couple days of normal carb levels.

    As far as I know it has no effect on thyroid problems except perhaps to reduce inflammation which could help thyroid function. I have hashimotos and have noticed no difference since changing my diet.

    Digestion is not slowed. Food passage occurs at the same rate.

    Low energy is a myth. Some experience low energy at first due to an electrolyte imbalance but it isn't due to lack of glucose. Some athletes may notice a short term decrease in athletic performance if they are switching to keto but it doesn't last. If one is worried about short bursts of energy lacking, like power lifting or sprinting, eat a few carbs before the activity - easy.

    Sat fats do not raise cholesterol in most people, although excessive carb consumption, especially if paired with high fats, may raise cholesterol.

    Does not lead to poor colon health.

    I agree that veggies are a nice source of nutrient dense foods, but most protein rich foods and meats are also nutrient dense.

    Meat eating, unless highly processed, does not appear to lead to inflammation. Often the opposite.
  • fishgutzyfishgutzy Posts: 2,824Member Member Posts: 2,824Member Member
    Turn the food pyramid upside down.
    But we are all individuals with no one size fits all meal plan. But a good rule of thumb is that if the government says you do eat a certain way, do the opposite. Such things are driven more by politics than science. The food pyramid came out pushing more carbs/grain consumption after the government started subsidizing grain.
    Over time, it has come out that basically everything 'they' told us was wrong.
    Butter is good for you. Whole eggs are better for you than fractured eggs (egg white alone).
    People that are natural distance runners have a higher ability to utilize carbs without turning it to stored fat. Hence carb loading works for distance runner prior to a big event like a marathon, but may not work so well for recreational or less natural runners.
    Some do well following a 4:1 carb to protein for work outs. I don't.
    Find what works that one can maintain.
    No magic bullet.
  • kuranda10kuranda10 Posts: 595Member, Premium Member Posts: 595Member, Premium Member
    fishgutzy wrote: »
    Turn the food pyramid upside down.

    I wish I could find the graphic again, but it showed that the USDA food pyramid for humans was almost exactly the same as the one sent to farmers to fatten stock
    edited May 2016
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    kuranda10 wrote: »
    fishgutzy wrote: »
    Turn the food pyramid upside down.

    I wish I could find the graphic again, but it showed that the USDA food pyramid for humans was almost exactly the same as the one sent to farmers to fatten stock

    Oh really?

    forage-quality-affects-profitability-large-1.gif
  • CipherZeroCipherZero Posts: 1,373Member Member Posts: 1,373Member Member
    "There's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate." --Will Brinks
  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,402Member Member Posts: 5,402Member Member
    CipherZero wrote: »
    "There's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate." --Will Brinks

    Correct. Not essential, meaning the body can makes it's own (glucose) if it has to.
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