Saturday, August 13, 2011

Low Carb Is Great!

So I've been on the low carb lifestyle for several months now after a long hiatus while my wife was pregnant (and post-pregnant) with our last child. I went from approximately 200 pounds to 170 within a couple months. I generally eat a fair amount of carbs still - in fruit, veggies and nuts. I have also moved away from most all sugar, wheat/bread and soy products (like mayonaise). I feel great.

There were a couple issues that did come up during the adjustment period to the low amount of carbs. First, I was still craving carbs for longer than 3 weeks or so. This was probably attributed to me still eating about 100+ carbs/day. I was still eating a sandwich and other higher carb foods and I think this was still making me crave other similar foods. At the same time, I also felt like crap. I know this was the "Carb Flu" that people experience, but it quickly went away after I eliminated grains (i.e. bread) and soy (mayo) from my diet.

The last and most prolonged issue was an achy feeling I felt all over my body - like a prolonged soreness in my arms, legs and body. It was kind of like when you walk for a long distance the day before and you feel it in your legs for a day or two after. Anyway, I researched it and it sounded like a potassium deficiency. I started eating more foods with potassium and these effects went away almost immediately (like seriously within an hour). I had already been taking multivitamins but most don't have a high potassium concentration.

So why low carb? I didn't do it for the weight. I didn't consider myself fat at 200 but slightly more than I wanted. I had known before but researched via books, journal articles and more - and came to the conclusion that carbohydrates and sugar are very bad for our bodies. They increase our risk for hypertension, heart attack, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke and more. This, coupled with the fact that the US Government lies to us on a daily basis about what "diet" is good for us made it an easy decision.

Many people claim that the lifestyle is too difficult. It is not if you adjust your buying and cooking practices. You will be more selective and cooking a lot more, that is for sure. Some examples of what our family has eaten of late:

1)Spaghetti squash with homemade meat sauce (garlic, onions, tomato sauce, peppers, farm beef).

2)Pork chops smothered in homemade pesto (fresh farm basil, almonds, olive oil, garlic).

3)Sausage and egg casserole (cream, eggs, sausage, pepper, salt).

4)Cheese-crust pizza

5)Blue cheese burger topped with garden fresh tomato and onion (sans the bun)...throw in some turnip fries (omg they are good but gone fast).

6)Kale chips (look like glistening lettuce chips when you're done but the kids thought they were regular chips).

7)Cheese steak with jalapenos and onion. Spicy.

Now to the sugar - why no sugar?

Our bodies treat sucrose (refined sugar) and fructose (common in fruits) as toxins. I can go into the science, but why regurgitate information already explained by those more charismatic than me?

One of the bad results of sugar ingestion is the increased production of LDL (the bad kind), which drives hypertension and heart attacks.

More later