INTRODUCTION – If you are one of those that is considering adopting a low carb high fat lifestyle and want to understand the reasons behind ‘why’, this post is for you. It will guide you through a handful of previously written articles on this site so that you’ll understand how the current dietary recommendations and popular beliefs about weight gain have inadvertently contributed to many of the health problems we now face.
As in anything, before considering a solution to a problem, we first need to understand the problem.
Part I – Understanding Low Carb High Fat – the problem
In 1977, the US and Canada changed their Dietary Recommendations encouraging us to eat 45-65% of daily calories as carbohydrate and to limit all kinds of fat to 20-35%. Of relevance, in the early 1970s, prior to these changes only ~8% of men and ~12% of women were obese – and now almost 22% of men and 19% of women are obese.
The article titled Obesity Rates in Canada and Changes to Canada’s Food Guide will walk you through the changing recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) over the years, as well as the corresponding and simultaneous increase in the rates of overweight and obesity.
Unfortunately the dietary changes of 1977 have given us 40 years of data showing ever-increasing rates of obesity, overweight and Diabetes. It is quite literally an “epidemiological* experiment gone wrong”. This article titled Canada’s Food Guide – an Epidemiological Experiment Gone Terribly Wrong will help you understand some of the shortcomings of the guide, as it stands now.
*Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease in populations.
We’ve been told for years that the problem is that we “just need to eat less and exercise more“. If it were really that simple then 4.7 million adults in Canada wouldn’t be classified as obese and more than 40% of men and 27% of women classified as overweight. This article titled Why do we Gain Weight – the Myth of “Calories in, Calories out” will explain why this model doesn’t work.
We’ve also been told that people are overweight because “they lack self control” but this article titled Weight Gain as a Hormone Imbalance not a Calorie Imbalance explains how body weight is regulated automatically under the influence of hormones – hormones that signal us to eat and indicate when we are satiated. These hormones also signal our bodies to increase energy expenditure and when calories are restricted, they will slow energy expenditure. It’s not a matter of people “trying harder” but eating in such a way as to regulate these hormones.
In Part II titled Understanding Low Carb High Fat – the solution, I explain what a Low Carb High Fat style of eating is and how it serves as a solution to the health problems we now face.