Low Carb Diet: Fat or Fiction?

Low Carb Diet: Fat or Fiction?

2014, Health  -   47 Comments
Ratings: 7.47/10 from 110 users.

The low carbohydrate diet has become nothing short of a phenomenon in recent years. Many members of the dieting public have lost substantial amounts of weight adhering to a low carb regimen, and they've been assured that their new eating choices have also created a meaningful dent in their risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic health issues. But is such a diet safe and effective in the long term? That's the question posed by the documentary Low Carb Diet: Fat or Fiction? This Australian production examines the science behind the diet to determine whether it's just a fad or a healthy and sustainable trend.

The public has reason to be skeptical. Years ago, the medical and dieting communities deemed fat as the ultimate culprit of our obesity woes. Unfortunately, the presence of fat accounted for a large part of the pleasure eaters received from their food. In response, the food industry countered with higher contents of sugar and other flavorful carbohydrates. Little did the public know that this influx of carbs worked to stimulate their body's production of insulin, which in turn enhanced their ability to store fat. A new and improved obesity epidemic resulted.

Today, carbohydrates have become the new villain. In direct opposition to previous dietary recommendations, we're now being preached a sermon of carbohydrate reduction and an increased intake of fat. But does this represent the miracle we've all been waiting for?

The film uncovers both the ying and the yang of this argument. Many experts interviewed in the film enthuse over the benefits of limiting carbs. In their view, the resulting weight loss and relief from chronic illness is absolute justification for adopting such a diet. Others worry that the long-term effects of a low carb menu might bring about a series of undesirable consequences. After all, carbohydrates are included in some of the core tenants of a balanced and nutritious diet, including whole grains and fruits.

Throughout history, food science has been awash in surprising discoveries and baffling contradictions. Low Carb Diet: Fat or Fiction? valiantly attempts to cut through these inconsistencies and find real answers.

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47 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Jay

    It’s YIN and yang. Not ying/yang! Lol

  2. Bee

    TENET. The word is "tenets," not "tenants." (See: "core tenets.")

    Tenet: A doctrine, principle, or position held as part of a philosophy, religion, or field of endeavor.

    Tenant: One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another.

  3. Melissarhign

    There are many arguments about which diet is best for you. Nevertheless, health and wellness communities agree that diets emphasizing fresh, whole ingredients and minimizing processed foods are superior for overall wellness The whole-foods, plant-based diet does just that. It focuses on minimally processed foods, specifically plants, and is effective at stimulating weight loss and improving health. This article reviews everything you need to know about the whole-foods, plant-based diet, including its potential health benefits, foods to eat and a sample meal plan.

  4. Jenn

    I wonder how many of these haters reviewing from a few years ago are now thriving on keto, improving fertility, treating disease, losing weight, calming their kids, fighting inflammation, sleeping better. Hormone regualtion, the key to everything! enjoy

  5. Jackie Waters

    This idiot said the body has not need for carbohydrates? Is he on crack? Your muscles LITERALLY run on glucose..what do you think that is? Your brain needs glucose to function. This low carb BS is exactly that. Of course you lose weight by starving yourself. Fat is fat, so yeah replace fuel you need with cholesterol, makes perfect sense.


      I'm guessing you haven't had any chemistry or biochemistry background. The brain CAN run on ketones (whether it SHOULD is debatable) and lactose, in addition to blood glucose. It's nearly impossible to get rid of all the glucose from your food, so your body and brain will still be using some. The muscles, on the other hand, are different than most tissues, in that they aren't as picky what they have to metabolize for energy; yes, they LITERALLY run on glucose, when they are surrounded by glucose, because it is the quickest and easiest to metabolize.

    2. lizelle labuschagne

      wow! you really are very ignorant! Unless you actually have a degree in nutrition and would care to share your vast amount of knowledge with the rest of us?

    3. pierre

      Only until it doesnt. Then it moves to Ketones.

    4. pierre

      This documentary is a little biased with scaremongering. There are better documentarys now Keto has kicked off and everyones losing fat left right and center. I went keto, lost 5KG in a month, then moved to Meditteranian as its suposed to be healthy, and all the weight came back.
      Im back on low carb, not keto but low carb, as i need a little carb for weight training but no more than 100g needed. Keto i barely hit 17g.

      Consistently keep your blood clear of carbs and you will lose weight

    5. Dk

      You don't know what you talking so basically it goes to show your kind of intelligence. Kudos.

    6. JamesY

      so true

  6. Timothy M Ahern

    What about a eliminating the worst offenders from all of these schools of thought?
    No soda pop, no cereal, no fruit juice, no candy or sweets except limited fruit maybe 3 times a week, a little bread now and then, moderate meat but try to avoid or reduce processed, some starches from spuds and rice but not every meal, and most importantly, lean more on veggies. No sports drinks either, Eggs are fine, limit dairy........two weeks in on this......gawd I feel terrible......

  7. Austin

    Cholesterol only makes up 4% of a thrombus or a blood clot! Mostly it is Fibrin (65%), 20% platlets, 10% RBC, and 1% WBC. People need to stop blaming cholesterol. Fact of the matter is, are bodies create 3,000mg a day; it is paramount that we have it.

  8. Bonnie

    Atkins died from slipping and falling on ice in New York. It's emerging that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, or at the very least should never have been blamed for it because there aren't any studies supporting this. Studies are showing the more likely cause is inflammation caused by insulin spikes caused by sugar / starch / carb consumption.

    1. Mark Bennison

      Nah, wrong mate. The New York Health Department report, released in the early 2000s, concludes that Dr. Atkins, 72, had a history of heart attack and congestive heart failure and notes that he weighed 258 pounds at death.

      He was lucky to make it into his 70s!

  9. Donna

    My daughters, who both have Lyme, felt horribly until they started doing the low carb/keto diet. It makes no sense to me either but their symptoms improved greatly. I am currently giving it a try. I'm getting my protein not so much from meat, and have had lots of spinach salads, nuts, cheese, etc. A well known doctor in Florida who people flock to from all over the world puts them all on ketosis diets.

  10. KG

    Let me just tell you. The high carb-low fat vegans commenting here are wrong. Their entire movement is based off of psuedoscience. I was a HCLF vegan for a year, the result; 40lbs of weight gain, chronic tiredness, unexplained health problems, terrible (prediabetic) blood sugar levels, the worst cholesterol I have had in my life, and the highest blood pressure I have ever had. This was all extremely worrying as multiple people in my family suffer from type 2 diabetes, at a healthy BMI. I used to always eat low carb before I found HCLF veganism, and had always been very healthy. I started eating low carb- hight fat, around 5 months ago and vegetarian (yes it can be done), which works out great for me, and I believe it is the best of both worlds. My blood pressure is fantastic, I have more energy than ever, no cravings, my health and hormones are the best they have been in a long time, my blood sugar is also completely back to normal, and I have lost 45lbs (and still going).

    HCLF vegans like to spout about how research is funded by egg, meat and dairy industries. Yet, their own research is funded by companies who benefit massively off excessive carb consumption. The Vegan belief that obesity and heart disease started when more animal products were introduced, is neither here nor there. Yes, since the obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease epidemic. We are eating more animal products than ever, more fat, but also much more carbs than ever, over double the amount of sugar, much more food in general, and a lot more calories than we have ever consumed. You cannot make a clear distinction, what the exact culprit is. But, you can listen to your body. I would suggest try high fat and low carb for 2 weeks, and you will see for yourself.

    1. Wm

      I'm glad your diet works for you and your health. However to suggest it is right for everyone is irresponsible. WFPB diets have worked for many. My story is two partial colonectomy's by age 44. Soon after I became a nutritarian and cancer free since. I am now 62y.o. I am not HC and get good fats. I have never had any medical professional tell me to get more red meat. My weight is right on and am healthy and active. If you know of any colon cancer patients who've turned things around With a LCHF I'd love to hear about it.

  11. Alphatucana

    Just a comment on the commentaries as I've seen the same error a number of times so it is more than just a typo: the word is 'tenet' not 'tenant'. As in, "the core tenets of a balanced diet are..." A tenet is a principle or belief; a tenant is someone who rents property from a landlord.

    1. Kb

      I love you...you made my day...

  12. Jim West

    Just to clear up the myth of Dr Akins "slipping on ice" lie... Dr. Atkins was having a heart attack at the time he fell on the ice. Many low Carb advocates like to spin this and hide the fact that Atkins was indeed HAVING a heart attack when he fell unconscious to the ground. Dr Joel Furman got this info right from Atkins personal cardiologist. The Atkins camp quickly went into coverup mode to hide this fact but!... this was Atkins 2nd one. Atkins had his first heart attack a few years earlier and when Katie Curric interviewed him and pressed him about it, he tried to blame it on an infection and claimed all heart attacks were infections and tried unsuccessfully to treat his patients with clogged arteries with antibiotics. Crazy is as crazy does... and the same level of low I.Q. people are the ones trying to peddle the dangerous low carb lies in the bias fake-u-mentry. It's B.S... fat paralyzes insulin sensitivity and CAUSES type II diabetes... To cure diabetes you need to clear all the fat out of your muscles cells so sugar can get in. Low carb sucks, It's a smoke and mirrors scam. Eat low fat whole foods plant based and dump the fat, oils and animal products. That's the REAL cure, not this dumb, dangerous low carb delusion.

  13. vessa

    The main problem in developing metabolic disorders like diabetes type 2 is daily high calories intake. Any diabetic, hypercholesterolemic, hypertriglygeridic person can normalize the glucose , cholesterol, triglycerides levels if decrease calories intake to 600 cal/day for 10-14 days.

  14. Sarah

    I am not against lowering carb intake, but this bias reporting. There are so many confounding variables- of course if you start to focus on your health and diet you will lose weight, if the person taking the participants measurements (e.g. skin folds) is invested in the diet then there is potential for unconscious bias in measuring and then there is the placebo effect of the people on the diet.

  15. Steve

    One word: trans fat, probably the worst thing you can put in your body and it's only from animals. Even the evil industries say it's bad. It's extremely common sense that fruit and veggies are very healthy, why would you restrict these? Traditional Chinese people don't get fat or have much disease eating tons of rice everyday. Dr Greger from nutritionfacts.org tells it like it is, healthy carbs are king!

    1. Kim

      Most trans fats are manufactured in our western diets. Natural trans fats are not as harmful or as plentiful as the processed kind. Fruit and veggies are healthy but so are grass-fed meats poultry, fish, eggs etc. everything in balance, The body needs certain vitamins and complete proteins that a vegetarian and certainly vegan diet can't provide without supplementation. Real, whole foods in moderation.

  16. Megiddo

    Joe cross
    "This is false and misleading. Fat paralizes insuline and causes insulin resistence. Low carb diets are a dangerous fad. To cure t2 diabeties you need to get the fat out. Google walter kepner. He was curing diabetes with fruit and rice. Low carb is a lie." The opposite is true. Fat does not provoke any insulin response whatsoever. I became insulin resistant on a vegan diet. I've gone LCHF and am down 12 pounds in a month, my cholesterol is down, and my blood sugar is balanced. If it works for you, fine. For me, it almost pushed me into diabetes. Good day.

  17. Mettafort

    Do yourself a favor and do not be swayed by the very uneducated and I'll-informed commentary here. If interested in the notion of low carb, read works by leading scientists; there are many. Learn about ketogenic diets (not Atkins), and how obesity and diabetes can be reversed very effectively. Read real works, not uneducated commentary.

  18. Mike B

    First of all, dietary fat and cholesterol do not have an impact on plasma fat and cholesterol levels. Sugars and simple starches throw off the body's natural ability to balance these levels.
    Secondly, yes protein can turn into sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis but your body doesn't want to do this. It will only do this if no other suitable forms of energy is around. As long as your body is in ketosis then it will use fat as energy and protein for repair and other functions.

  19. Sheila evans

    I wish people would do some research before making a comment. Dr Atkins died from a head injury after slipping on some ice while walking to work. Vegans from all around the world would have loved him to have died from a heart attack but he did not.

  20. Ashley

    This documentary is very misleading. We are currently eating more animal fats than ever, and we are suffering from tons of health problems. Butter is not a health food, people!

    1. Nick

      Actually you are the one misleading people. The Facts are that we are eating LESS Saturated Animal fats than we did 100 years ago and eating WAY more toxic Plant oils. Humans enjoyed great health and vitality and virility on a nearly 100% carnivorous diet, high in saturated fats. U have no clue about human biology, biological requirements, or human dietary evolution. Humans have no ability to ferment plant matter to reach their proteins etc like Other primates. Our Digestive system is most close to the dog/wolf. Stop pushing a plant based diet high in plant toxins, humans are not evolved to eat these antinutients.

  21. hannah

    If Diabetes runs in your family, or if you can't lose weight, it will serve you to watch this movie.

  22. Evan

    This is a completely misleading program. The nutritional research does not support diets high in animal products (as low-carb diets often are). The healthiest diets are whole-foods, plant-based diets. Unfortunately, people have become obsessed with macro-nutrients, which are not as important as the source of your food. Processed foods and any animal products have been shown to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and a host of other ailments while whole-foods, plant-based diets reduce these risks. Check out nutritionfacts.org.

    1. Nick

      COMPLETE BULL. You are pushing a fad that is only possible in our high tech world, a plant based, low fat diet. A diet that is new and deadly to human beings, we evolved on Guts and Grease. Animal products. Our digestive system is most like dog/wolf. We have zero ability to ferment plant fiber which is required to convert it to SCFA or to even access plant protein. Get a clue.

  23. Joe cross

    This is false and misleading. Fat paralizes insuline and causes insulin resistence. Low carb diets are a dangerous fad. To cure t2 diabeties you need to get the fat out. Google walter kepner. He was curing diabetes with fruit and rice. Low carb is a lie.

    1. Nick

      haha, dude u have no clue of human biochemistry, that rice diet fool was a quack and has been long debunked.

  24. Cecy

    This is so one sided, the opinion of the anti carb side is missing and lets not forget, the liver will use fat to produce sugar and therfor raise the blood sugar. Also why have all "diabetic products" been eliminated? Because reducing carbs in exchange for sugar does not work. Next point, being ketogenic makes your body become acitic which makes it hard on the body to perform basic reactions. What about our enviroment? Lets just produce more meat and kill the rest of earth what is left. It is very frustrating to hear this...why can we not just eat a little of everything. Greetings from germany

  25. frances

    I have been. on low carb a few years now and have learned that moderation is the key. just because I can eat meat doesn't. mean I have to.I also use food combining so I don't. get bored it works if I work it with comon sense.

  26. mark shaw

    why didn't they interview someone from the anti fat side, or some of the greatest endurance athletes that are vegan, almost all the leading triathletes are vegan, and one thing they failed to mention is what killed Atkin, a massive coronary heart failure.

    1. herb

      Did he die of heart failure before he hit the ground when he slipped on the ice? "The report was given to the Journal by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that advocates vegetarianism. Because the medical examiner’s office is claiming this information was circulated in error, it may not be possible at this time to determine if what was in that report referred to events that immediately preceded (and therefore might have caused) the doctor’s death, or if they were in reference to damage done over the course of a lifetime. (The report had been sent to a doctor in Nebraska who requested it. It was later discovered the person it was sent to was not “the treating physician” and so should not have had access to the report.) At present, the medical examiner’s office will only say Atkins died of a head injury from the fall. “I can’t comment on people’s previous conditions. It’s against the law,” said spokeswoman Ellen Borakove."

    2. Desiree

      Yeah but if you look into some of the athletes that went vegan...they have either changed their diet or retired shortly after due them losing strength or even energy. A lot of athlete are currently following some kind of low carb high fat diet. Also they have found that doing a LCHF diet correctly people have reversed metabolic syndromes brought on by obesity. I have tried multiple different diets and even went vegan for a little while. When I went vegan, I lost strength and I was tired all the time. I had to overdo it on coffee just to work out. I also got depressed while being vegan. I tried what staying close to the food pyramid and cut out added sugars focusing on Whole Foods with the same results of going vegan....being tired all the time but with mood swings. I have now been LCHF for sometime and I have more energy than I know what to do with. I am much happy and my workout get better EVERYDAY.

      If you want to watch something from the anti fat perspective there are a lot more of those kinds of documentaries with misleading messages.

      No one is telling you how to eat...that is entirely up to you. But don’t make assumptions on a way of eating/lifestyle choice before you even try it for yourself.

  27. Sandor Fazekas

    Fasting was never mentioned. To try and explain this as simply as possible. Our digestive system and liver were never designed to work as hard as they do with amount and frequency of food we ingest. Simply fasting once a week can be greatly beneficial. Please research this for ourselves. Of course not everyone can do this for medical reasons but most of us can again can benefit greatly with just this one change!


      It was mentioned in the initial tenets of the diet sequence at the beginning.

  28. Joan

    What many people may not know is t that everything, including animal protein (through a very complicated process) turns to sugar once it's in the digestive system. The body can only utilize glucose. Another reason for the high rates of obesity is the fact that most animal protein comes from factory farms where the animals are given high doses of antibiotics to fatten them up quickly. The increase in obesity appears to coordinate perfectly with the rise in factory farming and the increase in the consumption of meat, cheese, chicken and eggs...all polluted with GMOs and antibiotics.

  29. Blaice

    Except.... Fat has cholesterol which is the number one contributor to atherosclerosis, on top of that, saturated fat and trans fat have also been implicated. This documentary is pointless if you have any nutritional knowledge. Since animal product consumption has increased after WWII obesity rates correlated perfectly. Fruits, grains, legumes, vegetables (all very, very high in carbohydrates). We were meant to consume a WHOLE-food starch based diet (legumes, vegetables, fruits). Our bodies utilize fiber for countless benefits physiologically and yet, we have people eating more animal products, fast food, and other processed foods than ever before. There your nutritional concerns all solved immediately.

  30. Charles King

    I am a believer in low carbohydrate diets 12 years ago, I read a book by Dr. Eads called "Protein Power" (how and why low carb diets control weight triglycerides and overall health). After 1 week, I felt great, less hungry, and lost 5 lbs. In 12 weeks I lost 58 lbs., felt incredible, was taken off blood pressure and insulin control medication. My only problem was that I lost the weight too fast and looked somewhat anorexic. I reintroduced some high fiber carbs into my diet and filled out a little. I still feel great, still kept the weight off, still off medications, and have added the Glycemic index of foods to choose the right carbs to eat.

  31. Margie

    What was not mentioned is that it is now recognized that sugar is implicated in coronary artery (heart) disease because of its highly inflammatory properties.