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Surprising advice from cardiologist

(84 Posts)
romina Tue 15-Oct-13 08:12:55

Just posting this as it really surprised me and thought I'd share in case anyone else is interested.

I've recently been seeing a cardiologist, who is on Tatler's top doctors list. I am overweight, with high blood pressure and basically said "I know I should eat less and lower fat, but I do find it really tough to stick to".

She told me that the 2 diets with the best clinically-reviewed, robust evidence of effectiveness and health benefits are firstly the Mediterranean diet and secondly, surprise surprise, low carb. I almost fell of my chair.

I've done low carb in the past, got disheartened by being told that is unhealthy, over and over again, by my GP, stopped and piled the weight back on.

Apparently the whole "a calorie is a calorie" thing is rubbish - some foods (nuts I think were one of them) don't appear to have any impact on weight even if 500 cals or so are simple added to the same person's diet daily, but sugar is usually the biggest problem for most people - and can have an effect on the brain similar (as seen in a functional MRI scan) to hard drugs.

I'm sure lots of people will disagree - but I thought it was really interesting...

DameFellatioNelson Tue 15-Oct-13 08:19:13

Why the surprise?! This is not new news - most people who actually know what they are talking about have been saying this for around 10-15 years now, and Dr Robert Atkins, he of the much maligned, much ridiculed Atkins diet was a cardiologist himself.

Almost every current trendy diet now pushed as being the way to go, from Dukan to 5:2 fasting has its roots in low carb, low GI, paleo etc, and they can pretty much all be traced back to Atkins, even though they may differ slightly on their attitude to high fat intakes.

Carbs are the work of the devil.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 15-Oct-13 08:19:55

And lots of people will agree! Not just those living a low-carb lifestyle, but also those who have read the studies that show, more and more clearly, that dietary fat is not the cause of obesity and the related health problems. The newly-recognised villain is insulin. High insulin and wildly-fluctuating insulin cause all sorts of health problems. Cut out simple carbs, cut down severely on complex carbs, insulin stops fluctuating, body can get on with repairing itself and being a healthy body.

Get yourself over to the Boot Camp threads!

DameFellatioNelson Tue 15-Oct-13 08:21:11

And many people with problems such as PCOS are advised to go on low carb, high fat diets as a way of controlling their condition and they weight they gain because of it.

Also a very low carb (pretty much zero carb) and very high fat diet is often used to successfully control the symptoms of very serious epilepsy.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 15-Oct-13 08:23:14

No carbs are not the work of the devil. Our attitude to them is the work of the devil.

Secretly mainlining a family-sized block of Dairy Milk


Slowly nibbling a square of Lindt 70% on the sofa with your OH.


RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 08:32:43

Congratulations on having a Dr whose finger is on the pulse (pun fully intended!), when it comes to new evidence that's piling up regarding the high carb, low fat diet recommended for the past few decades is damaging and wrong - and at odds to the diet we evolved to eat.

The "establishment" is very resistant, but interestingly there are some medical Doctors who a "gurus" trying to get the message across (paleo/primal/lchf).

Lower carb yes, at least compared with a standard diet, lots of healthy fats (animal fats!), and no grain food... No processed fructose, low additives.

Check out these Doctors - all the blogs are free. Wheatbelly blog (dr Davis, a cariologist), theeatingacademy (dr Peter attia), dietdoctor lchf (a Swedish dr).

Sorry no idea how to live linky from phone.

Also, robb wolf blog (the paleo solution) and Marks Daily Apple blog are excellent.

If you chose to change the way you eat - those blogs have all the info you need to answer back anyone who tells you it not healthy to eat real, natural foods! Plenty of links to the science too, for anyone interested in reading about how carbs and fake fats screw up our metabolisms.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 08:45:07

Iloveafullfridge, no! I think carbs are actually the work of the devil for a lot of people!

For people like me who simple can't cope with high glycemic carbs without going out of control (a physical not physiological response),
And I think a LOT of people are like that!

Yes yes to the Lindt - 85%, a cocoa hit, not a sugar hit, fabulous stuff grin. I eat it every day (2 squares). I get many shocked looks and comments when I say I eat chocolate every day, and have double cream in my coffee every morning, a
And fry my veg in butter or coconut oil... When asked how I've lost 6+ stone, people literally do not believe its possible to do this (with no calorie counting either!) grin

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 18:32:41

I love carbs and could never do a low carb diet
but I do 5:2 and eating carbs on fast days is not possible without feeling rotten
so my carb intake has roughly halved

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 18:45:18

Half the carbs? Well Talkingpeace, I guess on average over the course of the week that's low(ish) carb grin!

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 18:48:28

grin but tonight is spag bol with bread sticks !
so the carbs are restricted by the choice of meals rather than the thought of low carb IYSWIM

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 19:02:26

Yes... But I do think you've got it right wrt why 5.2 works - because you very much have to restrict carbs for 2 days, that has a very positive effect on insulin resistance and other metabolic markers, compared with 7 days a week of high carb... And the weight loss of course.

Lower carb all the time just does it better - especially for people like me who could not cope with the on/off carbs days without going carb crazy...

Enjoy your spag bolls smile

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 19:03:45

And I really do go carb crazy!!!

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 19:29:08

I restrict everything on fast days ....
from Sunday lunch till Monday evening nothing but tea, then a pot of soup or an omelette then nothing till Tuesday lunch
same again Wednesday night till Friday lunch
then at the weekend eat what I like

Wossname Tue 15-Oct-13 19:42:47

Is it possible to do low carb if you're not that fond of meat? I like chicken and fish but thats about it unfortunately.

What does a typical days food consist of? I dont really have a sweet tooth but i do like bready stuff and wine- I assume they are a big no on low carb grin

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 19:46:26


Wossname Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:04

So lentils and fruit are ok then? I thought they would be off the ment if low carb, so thats good.

Am on my phone so cant search properly, but will try and find bootcamp thread later. I am currently eating a chip butty though blush

HerBigChance Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:54

I don't eat red meat or poultry, Wossname.

I eat plenty of fish: salmon, mackerel, trout and and tuna. For other protein I eat nuts (almonds v good), eggs, cheese and full-fat yoghurts.

HerBigChance Tue 15-Oct-13 19:54:10

And I have a couple of 'fat days' (days of chips and wine, I call them) to keep the metabolism ticking over. I've lost over two stone in 14 months (I'm going for the slowly slowly approach) and my energy and stamina have gone through the roof on low carb.

GeordieCherry Tue 15-Oct-13 19:57:02

And you can have tofu smile

sillyoldfool Tue 15-Oct-13 19:59:59

My consultant said that she believes she'll see sugar/snack companies being sued in the same way that tobacco companies have in her lifetime!

They have carbs in the med diet though, don't they?

(Who are they?)

So is that a good diet because of the abundance of fruit and veg and lack of processed food?

classifiedinformation Tue 15-Oct-13 20:08:36

Reading stuff like this panics me, I couldn't live without sugar or carbs (especially as I love baking). But I feel terrible that I am probably poisoning my family.

I know without a doubt my kids and dp would not agree to give up carbs, both children are extremely fussy eaters and dp has a very hard physical job. sad

Talkinpeace Tue 15-Oct-13 20:12:44

then do not give them up
but eat them with awareness and mindfulness

fussy eaters are generally cured by hunger wink
and your DP needs protein not carbs to give him long lasting energy

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 21:16:50

I agree- simply being more aware high carb diets (and especially diets with a lot of added simple sugars), can cause a lot of damage over time, and making relatively small changes will make a huge difference to health long term.

IMO, if you were to chose to do one thing, I make it "don't eat anything with added fructose (fructose, corn syrup, corn sugar, HFCS, glucose-fructose syrup, it has many names). Fruit juice too, is high fructose - eat the fruit, don't drink the juice.

That one simple move would put a lot of junk food and ready meals on the "no" pile! It's amazing what they put sugar into, and how much they add.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 15-Oct-13 21:20:28

I started with small changes and it took about 7 years to evolve into full on batshit-crazy paleo/primal grin.

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