Dangers of Very Low Glycemic-Load Diets

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Dangers of Very Low Glycemic-Load Diets

You already know high glycemic-load diets lead to excess insulin and inflammation.

But if a low glycemic-load diet is good, shouldn’t a very low glycemic-load diet be better?

Actually, no.

These very low glycemic-load diets can also increase silent inflammation and chronic disease.

The first thing that happens on a very low glycemic-load diet, like the Atkins diet, is your body goes into an abnormal state known as ketosis.

Without adequate carbohydrates in your diet, your liver doesn’t have enough stored carbohydrates (called glycogen) to metabolize fats completely into water and carbon dioxide.

This lack of liver glycogen changes the normal metabolism of fat and causes your liver to make abnormal ketone bodies, which circulate in your bloodstream.

Your body isn’t too happy about this and increases urination to wash them out of your system.

(It does the same thing for things like caffeine and phosphorus in soft drinks.)

A lot of the initial weight loss experienced on these very low-carbohydrate diets comes from shedding water, not fat.

But this isn’t dangerous.

The real danger with very low glycemic-load diets comes from the hormonal problems they create.

The first problem is your brain needs a certain amount of glucose in your blood to work properly.

Your brain is a glucose hog.

Even though your brain accounts for less than 3% of your body mass, it guzzles more than 70% of your blood glucose.

When blood glucose levels get too low, your brain doesn’t function well and goes into panic mode.

It sends out signals (via the hormone cortisol) to start breaking down muscle mass and converting it into glucose.

The process is called neo-glucogenesis.

It’s not a very efficient process, but it works in the short term.

When people go on low-carbohydrate diets, like Atkins, they’ll lose more weight for the first 6 months with no short-term increased mortality from heart attacks or anything else.

More than 6 months, however, and adverse metabolic changes take place in your body.

Dieters often stop losing weight, even though they’re still restricting their carbohydrate intake, and then they start to gain weight.

They aren’t cheating.

Rather, they’re beginning to feel the effects of excess cortisol production needed to make enough glucose for the brain.

As we mentioned earlier, excess cortisol increases insulin resistance, which in turn converts your fat cells into fat magnets.

The end result is you regain the lost weight.

This is typically what happens to those who follow the Atkins diet:  they lose weight in the first 6 months, but then gain back the weight in the next 6 months.

At the end of a year, they wind up with very little or no net loss of weight.

This explains why millions of people who lost weight on low-carbohydrate diets over the past 30 years gained it all back, if not more.

The vast majority weren’t cheaters but were simply victims of the biochemical and hormonal changes their body made to a very low glycemic-load diet.

If weight regain isn’t bad enough, here’s the second hormonal danger with high-protein diets:  fat-rich protein.

On the Atkins diet you’re encouraged to eat excessive amounts of fatty protein (steak, bacon, egg yolks, and so on).

These are all great dietary sources of arachidonic acid (AA).

The more AA you eat, the more silent inflammation you’ll generate even if you’re shedding excess weight (although much is due to water loss).

Increased cortisol secretion and increased silent inflammation are the real dangers of the Atkins diet.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.


 

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