If you are thinking it is time to improve your nutrition. You might be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to a “low carb” approach? In fact, there is much fuss on this topic at present. This is why we want to provide you with quality and sound information on the low carb way and help you understand what a healthy and balanced way of eating is all about – LCHF = Lower Carbohydrate Healthy Fat.
Our Accredited Clinic – Nutrition for Life Healthcare has been helping people learn and apply LCHF since 2014. We have learned a lot about the types of people who look for this support and have thousands of success stories as a result.
One of the key things that each and every person benefits from when learning more about LCHF is starting it right and knowing that this is not a diet or a fad or something they should only try for a short time. LCHF is truly a lifestyle shift. In this article, we go through the key basics and starter points anyone needs to know before progressing further.
Lets start with sugar!
Fructose is one half of the ‘toxic’ material we call sugar. There are so many various times of sugars available in foods and drinks now that it is so challenging for the consumer to work around this. Education is key.
From an evolutionary and survival aspect, fructose metabolism is very useful. In times of plenty when fruit was seasonally available (late summer), we could eat as much fruit (fructose) as we could find. The fructose would keep us hungry, keep us eating and we conveniently metabolise it into fat for the winter months.
The trouble nowadays is that fruit, and worse, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are available all year round. The latter 2 have been added to nearly everything we eat – and we love the sweet taste. We are designed to seek the ‘sugar hit’ all the time. Unfortunately, we then directly store it as fat – every day of the week!
Fructose intake has become an increasing component of the Western diet over the last 100 years and with it the increasing problem of obesity and a raft of diseases.
It is nearly impossible to avoid sugar in your diet but, with a little effort, you can avoid the majority of fructose intake. With that decrease, you will start avoiding the ‘sugar bounce’ throughout the day, not feel hungry and start controlling your diet and then your weight.
Importantly, you will stop taking in unnecessary calories. Start your reduced sugar journey – here.
What about REFINED CARBOHYDRATES?
Carbohydrate is just ‘glucose sugar’ and only a small amount is utilised for energy when you eat it. The vast majority is converted to fat.
The refined flours and white rice are a big part of the overall issue and are worth considering in your nutrition journey to better health outcomes as you progress away from Sugar. Our starter guide can teach you more – here.
The processing of commercial carbohydrate-based products take the fibre out of complex carbohydrate grains and leaves us with the white and wholemeal bread, white rice, flours and pasta.
Refined carbohydrates and polyunsaturated oils only aggravate the situation.
This is a helpful concept to keep in mind:
The more processed the product, the less nutrient value and the lower the fibre content. Refined carbohydrates have a higher glycaemic index, and therefore, an increased insulin response. This contributes to a state of insulin resistance which may progress to Diabetes in time along with a range of other chronic conditions.
We recommend replacing carbohydrates with alternatives; rice with cauliflower rice; pasta with zucchini spirals; and bread with lettuce leaves, cabbage or a ‘fork’. We have a helpful low carb swaps ebook if you want some direction starting this – click here.
A Low Carb approach is also beneficial from an energy point of view. We like to explain this with the following information and image.
Our bodies fuel from three macronutrients
When we consume foods containing one or more of these macro’s there is a breakdown process to follow…This goes…
CARBS = Glucose
PROTEIN = Amino acids
FATS = Fatty acids
Your digestive system conducts this ‘breakdown’ then releases into your bloodstream.
Why is this useful to know?
It is a common misconception that carbs are the only essential macro-nutrient needed for the creation of energy in our bodies…simply NOT the case. Not only is it not the only essential source of energy, it DOES NOT need to be the primary source of energy. Here is an image we like to use to show you the ways in which each of three macro-nutrients influences energy.
What about FATS and OILS?
To address the blood vessel wall inflammation in every part of your body, in addition to cutting back on Fructose and processed carbohydrates, you will need to minimise Polyunsaturated Fats and Oils and try to eliminate them completely. Instead of consuming a balanced range of healthy fat options.
Change from using Margarine and the polyunsaturated oils including Canola, Sunflower, Vegetable and Seed Oils for cooking. It is so much better to use small amounts of healthy fats including Butter, Olive, Macadamia or Coconut Oil, and Lard for your cooking needs and include avocado in your meals and nuts as snacks, if necessary.
Really look hard at those labels. Virtually all processed Food Products use Seed Oils in their production. In our ebook range, we teach you more about food labelling reading – here.
Top fat consumption tips for any beginner is…
We recommend Healthy Fats rather than High Fats you still need to think about your calorie intake and healthy fat foods will mean high-calorie consumption, therefore portion control is important. Our healthy plate model below is a good example of how to construct your LCHF meal.
You can learn more about our healthy LCHF plate model in our online program or via an individual consultation. It can take some time to apply properly. Another visual way of understanding what LCHF includes is via our food pyramid model below. We can also advise on plant-based and vegan methods for achieving the health benefits from this approach too.
The Complete ‘Beginners’ Starter Guide Here