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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1 year ago

It’s YIN and yang. Not ying/yang! Lol

3 years ago

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 years ago

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 years ago

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

Jackie Waters
5 years ago

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.

Timothy M Ahern
5 years ago

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......

5 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

Jim West
7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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!

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

Mike B
7 years ago

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.

Sheila evans
7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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!

7 years ago

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

7 years ago

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.

Joe cross
7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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

7 years ago

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.

mark shaw
7 years ago

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.

Sandor Fazekas
7 years ago

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!

7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.

Charles King
7 years ago

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.

7 years ago

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.