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Dangers of Low Carb!

by (275)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created August 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I am doing an anti fungal diet, as I most definitely have a fungal infection. This basically means no starch and sugar

Ideally I want to do this for three months.

What are the dangers of low term low carb/ ketosis. I have heard of stuff like low thyroid function, cortisol deregulation, does anyone know about these issues?

(I generally do not do well on low carb/ keto diets)

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609 · August 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

+1 great answer. There is really nothing I want to add..

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275 · August 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

has i have heard that before, but then the normal claim is that sugars (carbs) feed them, so it would seem there is no option

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275 · August 15, 2013 at 9:39 PM

awesome answer. Ye that book is on my to do read list.

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5 Answers

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3150 · August 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

We could discuss endlessly regarding if ketogenic diets are good long term or not, here on PH you'll find people that love low carb and has changed their lives, people that will tell you that you're ruining your life, and then some people that justs supports it for some time, long term but with carb refeeds, people that still it's not sure is either good or bad... etc.

I'd love to be able to give a really consistent answer but I'm afraid I need to dig way more into this until I can have a solid position, I can tell you I'm doing fine, I feel fine and I even perform high intensity exercise with almost no carbs... I guess it's feasible over time but needs to be done in the correct way, and requires a progressive approach and a lot of fine tuning to deal with possible deficiencies that may come from cutting high carb sources.

I'd suggest you to read volek and phinney's book, they are some of the masters on low carb so if you're going to stick with it you might have more numbers to succeed with their tips for what they call 'a well-formulated ketogenic diet".

http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Living/dp/0983490708

By the way, I don't think 3 months will be of much concern, you can always reverse to prior eating if you think you should. Regarding the thyroid thing, it's a difficult question that seems that the most versed still cannot solve or at least there's mixed opinions. Some say that a glucose deficiency will lead to poor T4 to T3 conversion due to a lowered activity of the thyroid and that you'll also get lowered LDL cholesterol receptor activity and that's why LDL skyrockets on most people on low carb diets. BUT whether this is a thyroid problem or not, that's not really clear. Some like Dr Rosedale are pretty sure that what is happening is that the thyroid works less just because you live in a more metabollicaly reduced state and that's a good thing regarding longevity. But... if you're a hardcore exerciser, planning to reproduce and things like that that involve youthfulness and energy... it might penalize you...

Some others think that low carb is not the problem, that low calories are. I can tell you I've personally noticed a difference by upping calories a lot on a ketogenic approach and I feel pretty well like this. Problem then? getting so much fat to cover the surpluss to speed up metabolism seems a little bit unnatural, you have to make use of food that you would not naturally use that way, I mean chopping down coconut oil, heavy cream or olive oil at high doses... that's why some think that the ketogenic diet is not that much about a metabolic advantage really but just a naturally restricting calorie diet. IMHO I think it's both, it's difficult to put fat due to the natural fat releasing nature of the ketogenic diet and that also it makes it difficult to overeat the bad stuff.

To sum up, I'd say that a well-formulated keto diet that has plenty of nutrients and a good matching calorie intake to suit your needs might be not only a good aproach for most but probably the best, but there are some things that we need to understand better like the high LDL and T3 "issue".

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275 · August 15, 2013 at 9:39 PM

awesome answer. Ye that book is on my to do read list.

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609 · August 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

+1 great answer. There is really nothing I want to add..

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288 · August 20, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Paul Jaminet (of the Perfect Health Diet) believes that fungi can metabolize ketones, so a low-carb diet might actually worsen your situation.

While ketogenic dieting is helpful against bacterial and viral infections, fungi and protozoa are eukaryotes who can metabolize ketones in their mitochondria. In fact, because ketones are water-soluble small molecules and diffuse into pathogen mitochondria, while glucose and fatty acids are chaperoned through the human body by transport molecules, ketones are a uniquely available energy substrate for parasitic fungi and protozoa. Moreover, glucose is a major resource for the immune defense against these pathogens, and induction of ketosis by carb restriction can diminish immunity against protozoa and fungi.

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275 · August 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

has i have heard that before, but then the normal claim is that sugars (carbs) feed them, so it would seem there is no option

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24538 · August 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Well, one of the unintended dangers might be that you make your fungal infection worse by driving it deeper into the body when you take away its food source in your intestines. It will like be temporarily better by removing its food sources on the surface of your body, then it will go in search of food. Just like with pathogenic bacteria, fungal overgrowth is a numbers game, and antifungal oral medications might be the ticket to get the ball rolling in your favor towards a better ratio. Then upping your intake of prebiotic fiber (like what is in starchy roots) can actually help keep the fungus from overgrowing again.

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2771 · August 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

This is a tough question to ask here because most of us, including me, would give you the following sarcastic comment:

You might start losing weight and feeling better and your blood sugar levels might return to normal.

But I get what you're asking. Most of us here do fine on a low carb diet, but you need to match your carb intake with your activity level. Those of us that exercise intensly need more than a sedentary person. I find that when don't eat enough and I've been working out a lot, I get that fatigue and stressed feeling.

Also, you might have that two week long "low-carb" flu as your body gets used to the new way of doing things. The first time I went low carb ala Atkins, I felt rotten for two weeks and hated everything, and then felt the best I had in a long time. When I went low carb again, I eased into it with good carbs and had no issues.

Remember, going into ketosis isn't everyone's goal and you might get good results getting close to that point. I think I kind of bounce in and out of ketosis and that works fine for me.

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1005 · August 22, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Though low carb diets are not for everyone, many of the benefits outweigh the risks and many of the so-called dangers of low carb diets are actually just myths (ie. you'll ruin your kidneys, excrete calcium, up your risk for heart disease)

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