Welcome to Tigersue's Jungle. Here you may find a Jungle of thoughts and idea's. You may never know what you will find!
Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What are Low Carb Diets anyway?

I had mentioned in my very first post that I had followed a low carb diet for a couple of years and I directly attribute that to my last two pregnancies. I know for a fact without doing them I would not have these two little girls in my home today. I have been accused by more than one person that I have not followed the Word of Wisdom in following the plan that I have. Now I won't get into specifics, but I had a very personal revelation when I was looking into this and I know that I am following the Word of Wisdom, for me! It is a very sacred and personal revelation and I really don't want to share that with the WWW.
I thought on the other hand, I would discuss what Low carb Diets are and what they are not.
First Low carb is NOT NO Carb, but just what it says is Low carb, lower than what most diets suggest. There are various adaptations to the Low Carb eating plan, some with higher carb allowances, and some that strictly limit them. The idea is to decrease the amount of insulin the body produces or needs, since insulin is the hormone most directly related to fat storage. The primary food group that leads to the release of insulin is carbohydrates. Simply put, all carbs regardless of type, whether it be whole grain, fruit, starchy vegetables like potatoes and winter squash, milk, juices, or even the carbs in nuts and cheese, turn into glucose. The rate may be slightly faster, like in juice and fruits and refined carbs, but ultimately all carbs become glucose. For a diabetic this is dangerous, and for someone like me that is overweight, with a condition that contributes or is caused by insulin resistance it is very, very harmful to the body. High levels of insulin cause increase in cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depletion of seretonin, and imbalances of other hormones. The goal is to get the body back into balance of all working hormones by decreasing the amount of insulin the body secrets. For some people this requires a great reduction in the amount of carbs. I had mentioned Dr. Bernstein before, he is a man that is a type one diabetic requiring insulin shots. He studied and worked and practiced to get his insulin needs in balance, and his plan is probably the most restrictive low carb plan out there, but it is good. I would recommend his book The Diabetes Solution For any diabetic out there. It explains a lot about the tests you should have and why strict control over your carb intake and the amount of insulin you need can reduce the complications from diabetes. He is living proof that this way of life works. I have read Atkins, and his plan is much like Dr. Bersteins, but perhaps more liberal in allowances, than Dr. Bernstein.
I followed Dr. Schwarzbein, her plan really focuses on balancing all hormones, so the amount of carbs are higher than that other two plans, but more limiting really in the types of foods over all, trying to really focus on whole natural foods, I found eventually I combined ideas from all the books and plans that I read.
Now, there are several misconceptions about Low carb plans, the first and biggest, even one that I made before I really looked into it, is that vegetables are part of the "limited foods". To the contrary, non starchy vegetables are encouraged, big salads, lots of other vegetables, raw and cooked are part of the plan.
2. That it is all fat's a protein. Well I have to admit I am now more liberal with my fat intake than I have been for years, but if people are up in arms about the limiting of carbs, why is it okay to limit fats, which the body needs even more for the building and manufacturing of hormones, maintaining the nervous system, and other essential processes. The heart actually runs on the fuel provided by fats, not by carbs. There is a big difference between good fats and bad fats. Transfats have become the newest craze to avoid in foods, and for good reason, they contribute directly to the increase in LDL. What you need to know is that trans fats come from heated and damaged polyunsaturated fats, also known as vegetable oils, so No Low carb diets do not encourage the consumption of deep fat fried foods! It encourages the moderate use of butter, and butter heated too much can cause transfats, olive and canola oils and several other oils generally considered "bad" for the body, but are natural and not "man made" like margarine, and other spreads that have transfats in the process of making them.
3. Protein is not generally a free for all. I found when I first started to Low carb I ate lots of protein, my body was starving for it and was trying to store all the protein I needed to rebuild the enzymes and damage I had done to my body. Then after about 3 weeks it leveled off to a more reasonable amount, and probably close to less than what I had been eating. I ate more nuts, seeds, cheese, and good meats and became less afraid of meats considered to be bad for the body, when I think the data really comes from the high carb dishes that traditionally go with red meats!
I honestly never felt better in years, I really need to get back on track and get back to the point I was two years ago with good eating, good exercise and work on getting healthy again for these little babies. They need a healthy happy mother.
I don't need to be told that I'm breaking the word of wisdom, and you need to know that I eat very well when I think about it. It is an eating plan designed to get the body in balance, because obesity and diabetes is a sign that the body is out of balance, and it focuses on hormones to figure out what "balance" is. Balance is keeping blood sugar in control, and insulin in control. So on the outside, it may seem somewhat out of balance, but if you consider there is no such thing as an essential carb, everything a carb does can come from another source, including vitamins and minerals, you are not out of balance. Don't judge me because I choose to follow something that I know is best for me! My father is in the trouble he is now, probably because he gave up following Dr. Berstein, but I know he understands why it works, and what to do. IT is hard to conquer carb cravings, boy do I know that. So that is a bit of what low carb diets are, and why they work. The key is insulin, the fat hormone, and controlling it.


Michael said...

I may be bias, but I'm happier when you are happy too. Health being a big part of that. I am greatful for the children we have due to the get healthy first, the weight loss will come with the increase of energy, better eating and increased exercise, that comes with the balance mentioned. I like the information you're sharing, it can be usefull to all who want to consider it. If any judgment has taken place it lies with them. Difference of opinion and finding what works best for one is an individual trek of soul searching and study, and I know you did it and lived it. Know that I love you for who you are, and for what we are becoming together. Your Hubby

Téa said...

I'm not nearly as biased as Michael (heehee) and I'm happy that you're happy and healthy and wise. Your babies are tremendous blessings =D

I believe that each one of us has the privilege, nay, the duty, to examine the Word of Wisdom and prayerfully counsel with the Lord as to the personal application thereof. That is the nature of a principle, and precisely how Joseph Smith described the revelation in section 89.

I know what it's like having personal revelation mocked, ridiculed and flat-out denied as being possible. It can cut deep, even with a firm knowledge of what's been revealed to you.

I'm sorry if I've ever given offense in this matter for you...directly or indirectly.
I have a high school friend who's lost well over 100 pounds and has kept it off with a low-carb diet & moderate exercise. When I gain a greater stability I hope to counsel with the Lord and plan out what is best for my body and my health.

(I'm also sorry I tend to leave such long comments! Good thing there's a collapse comments option!)

Tigersue said...

You can make your posts as long as you like my dear SIL. I don't mind. And no you have never given me a moments grief over this so let your mind relax on that point.

David B. said...

Some interesting ideas here. I've never really looked into low carb diets much. However, I think it would be worthwhile for me to look into it some more.

Thanks for the info.

MomR said...

Very interesting info, Tanya. I have found for myself that low carbs is good also. I think one can overdo on protein as well. As the saying goes moderation in all things. I can't eat too many carbs now or I feel sick. A few and I'm OK. As I've looked into all this, I can see how and why the refined carbs and too many carbs are not good for one. Too bad they taste so darn good! And it does feel really good to be healthy.

MomR said...

Look on the "I finally saw my Dad" column. I added a comment but the number at the bottom didn't increase. Even tho' it printed it.

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimberly said...

Tanya, please don't mistake my opinions, views and the revelations I have recieve as personal attacks. They weren't intended to be. They were simply just my own views, opinions and revelations. I am healthy. I eat meat, I get plenty of protein I just don't totally believe the way you do. I believe in good carbs versus bad carbs and like most Americans I eat way too much fat and protein and I am surely not afraid of it. I have never questioned yours or Téa's revelations and I certainly was not attacking you. Diabetis is not something I have ever dealt with nor does it run in my family and though I could stand to lose weight I am doing pretty good in that area as well!

Tigersue said...

Kimberly I'm sorry you think this way, as I said it was SEVERAL people that have accused me of this. It is not an attack against you in anyway. It is a defense of ME. It is just coincidence that I post this when you are talking about what you are doing, with everything I have been through the past 2 or 3 years, and this past week with my Dad seeing what they brought him to eat in the hospital it was weighing on my mind.

Noelie said...

I wish that you didn't have to face what you have to face on your own blog.

I would just look at this way sis. MOST here were very supportive of you. Most here are grown up enough to realize that the world doesn't revolve around them and their issues.

I would also submit that those not willing to at least look at your evidence, might be fighting the fact that they are receiving good advice and revelation this way. It often is that simple. "Kickging against the Pricks' might be an apt phrase

Lucky thing you have a good hubby, mom in law, at least one great sister in law and friend that comes hopping in here to realize that what you are saying is about you and your world, and take away something from that, instead of thinking that everything revovles around them.

Noelie said...

One more note to make something else clear: Low carbing is NOT and will not EVER be the same as high Protien. The interesting thing about all of these plans is that the person following them will naturally head to a more sane amount they are eating, because they don't feel hungry.

You do not increase protien to cover for the missing carbs, if anything you will increase your fat to levels your body needs to repair itself.

I just wanted that clear from other postings, that implied that low carb is high protien. Interestingly it ends up being about the same protien that has been suggested all along as the needed amount.

Snobaybe said...

You know it's interesting... It's good that most people are open minded enough to do research and test something that the general public doesn't view as correct, or right, I mean even look at our religion???

I know that this diet interests me as per how it has affected both you and our father. As well as just giving it a chance and even reading some of the book itself, and looking at it from a physiological/chemical and biological standpoint. Even the laws of physics play a major role in this, your body tends to follow the least resistance law... breaking down carbs and storing them as fat is much easier than breaking down fat to sugars and storing as fat, it just makes sense as they say in the book that your body will only absorb or use so much fat per day, so if you eat more fat/protein, your body will feel fuller and you will need to eat less carbs and your body only takes what it needs and expells the rest cause using fat is just too much work, LOL ;)... I guess it just makes sense to me, as dad has always called me his little scientist. I'm so glad this has worked for you and I'm sorry that some people always think things are about them.

Kimberly said...

Tanya I love you and I have never judged you for your diet. I am actually very proud of what you have acomplished and found to work for you. I am happy you got your daughters. I NEVER said you attacked me. I just wanted to make sure that you know when I wrote that post last week about The Lord telling me that meat for every meal is against the word of wisdom I did not mean it as an attack against you. I have never judged y ou for this I have just disagreed in a few small areas. Mostly we agree. I agree that olive oil and real butter are better than margerine. I agree that soda's and high sugar drinks should be eliminated from ones's diet (not an easy task for some) I agree that brown rice and whole grains are better than white. I agree that berries are some of the best fruits. I agree that bread isn't all that good for you (I hardly eat it anymore) So we have a lot more in common than you think and I wasn't judging you. I am so glad you found something that worked for you. I found something that worked for me too but last week I gave it up for this stupid diet and messed myself up. I am going back to what I have learned worked for me and believe it or not protein and meat is a very big part of my diet (Just not pork as that makes me sick)

Tigersue said...

Kimberly I already know you feel that I was attacking you with this post. I got that message loud and clear. The thing is this has nothing to do with you, and nothing to do with anyone specific person. IT is about how I feel and my own journey and my own enlightenment. I haven't told you what I think you should be doing, and I'm not going to tell you what you should be doing. I'm not going to tell you what to blog or what not to blog. Just don't think that this has anything to do with you our your posts because it does not. I'm so weary of being afraid that I'm going to say something wrong all the time. I don't need it and you don't need the stress. What I write I do because it is how I think, and how I feel, nothing more than that.