Critics of the LCHF diet: Who are they?
The LCHF lifestyle follows a diet Lower in Carbs and Higher in Fat than the "average" diet consumed TODAY. Consequently, people for the LCHF diet believe that we should eat less carbs and more fat than the dietary allowances in our food guides. This is pretty general across borders, whether in the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Britain, South Africa, Sweden... these are just a few of the countries that I know that have very prominent MEDICAL doctors who champion a LCHF diet. This tells me that their dietary guidelines don't satisfy them just as the Canadian Dietary Guidelines don't satisfy me. Otherwise we wouldn't need to advocate anything, we would just tell people to eat according to the government recommendations. So then, rationally, people who criticize the LCHF diet, must either agree with the Dietary Guidelines or believe that people should actually be eating MORE CARBS and/or LESS FAT than the guidelines recommend.
What do the Canadian Dietary Guidelines recommend, then? Here, I am going to focus only on GRAINS and FAT. Of course we know that fruits and vegetables also have carbs, but let's pretend like everyone else, that they don't...So the actual CDG says that the average person should consume between 6-8 SERVINGS of GRAINS per day (1). This is actually a HUGE improvement from the last CDG which in 1992 made an all-time record recommendation of 5-12 servings of grains per day (2). I don't believe in weighing foods or counting calories, but let me tell you that according to them, 1 serving is 40g or 1/2 cup of each. Please do the math. The recommended FAT intake is a little more difficult to ascertain as there isn't a specific "fat" group even though it is a MACRONUTRIENT, but it says that all grains, dairy and meat sources should be "lean" and no added fat. But it also says at the bottom of the guide to consume "2-3 Tbsp- of unsaturated fats" from sources such as salad dressings, margarine, mayo, vegetable oils such as canola, olive (woohoo), soybean and again margarine, but to avoid butter, lard (and hard margarine and shortening). Somewhere on the guide it also says "Limit trans fats" (LIMIT not eliminate, oh Lord!)(1). I don't know how much each of you knows about fats, we in the LCHF community love fats, so we pretty much can say we are experts, but my grandmother can tell the difference between REAL fats and processed fats. It seems to me that our guideline, although it does not stipulate a certain amount, it does tell people to eat a certain amount of processed fats, but eliminate REAL fats as much as possible. I will give you a hint, Canola oil is as processed as anything could EVER be. All the bad things you have heard about food in the media, GMO, heavy metals, you name it, that's what it takes to produce a polyunsaturated vegetable oil from a plant that is high in acid and unpalatable (8). But, Canola oil (or rather it's raw material) is HUGE for the Canadian Agricultural Industry and Exports, again, look it up. And guess who one of the advisers is for the Canadian Food Guide? This is getting even more fun! Anyway, so it seems we don't really have a proper CDG recommendation for fat, but let's just say it's LOW (except for their friend Canola). I am not going to talk here about the benefits of fat, and REAL fat, because it's all over my other blogs, and you should read that too!
The LCHF doctors would like you to eat less than 6-8 servings of grains per day, in fact we would prefer if you ate little to no grains but got your carbs from vegetables and fruit which are jam packed with many more vitamins, minerals and fibre. Seem irrational to you? I will talk about the impact of the guidelines on the incidence of diabetes and obesity later, but you can see how there is an impact right? And we would definitely like you to get more REAL fats and less or no processed fats whatsoever, independently if they are saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated (and FORGET trans fats even exist). The actual amount of carbs and fat you should consume is very individual, and pretty easy to calculate, and some advocates of the LCHF diet believe in more others less, but there is a "sweet spot" for everyone. All LCHF doctors monitor their patients, and do blood work regularly. The main reason why we keep our patients on these diets, and they comply, is because they feel good and the labs reflect that. Again, something I've talked about in previous blogs.
So then why would you be against the LCHF diet? In my view, as I haven't actually been able to quantify evidence for this, there are 2 MAIN CRITICS of the LCHF diet. It's NOT the Media. The media has actually been extremely favourable to the LCHF diet. I believe this to be because most journalists are innate investigators, THEY RESEARCH (5,6,7)! So who are they? For one, Doctors who have NEVER and WILL NEVER put people on a LCHF diet. Fat is bad for you remember???? This is because Doctors, who self-admit have had all of 3 hours of nutritional education in all their years of medical school, rely on the GUIDELINES to recommend dietary advice to their patients. And so they should (it's not their fault the guidelines are BUNK)! Also, schools, hospitals, and every other institution run by the government is REQUIRED to follow the CDG. If you didn't know, now you know...! I don't know about your family doctor, but my family doctor is so busy, that she has no time, patience or desire to hear about anything else, and rolls her eyes at me, and everyone else, when she hears any sort of "alternative" thinking! Anyway, I think doctors are great, heroes in fact, save lives, but they suck at dietary advice, there, I've said it! Tell me otherwise?!? And two, my favourite group of LCHF critics, the ex-Paleos! These guys are the best! The super health-conscious, diet groupies that at some point were Vegan and then Paleo and then now they are "I don't know what", oh wait, there's one: "Flexible Dieting", where it doesn't matter what you eat as long as you track your "macros": fat, protein and carbs. All "food" is the same, whether it's a twinkie or a salad. If the sum of each of the 3 macronutrients is the same, you are good to go (3,4)! This person even says, “"Eat clean” used to be my mantra. Until now", and their site picture is a box of donuts (3). Awesome!