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What qualifies as long term low carb?

by 1602 · April 06, 2013 at 01:32 PM

SO and I have been experimenting with macros lately. Bringing our carb consumption up to a seemingly reasonable amount. Less than 200g per day for sure and mostly hovering around 150 or so. There have been a few side effects and it just seems really... odd to be adding carbs on purpose to meals. Even more odd to be subtracting fat. In fact it has been hard to even reach 150 carbs. Out of curiosity what qualifies as long term low carb (regarding the side effects that sometimes develop)? Would 100 grams or less be healthy long term without messing with insulin resistance? We would like to avoid the long term effects of super low carb on the body while still staying pretty low carb. Does anyone know where that line is?

*We are trying to cut calories in general and mathematically it seems to be easier by adding some carbs and making the ratios more balanced. In my opinion (grain of salt) it seems that eating tons of calories of any kind will stall weight loss so being conscious of amounts is logical. Fat is 9 calories per gram where as carbs are only 4 so....

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32177 · April 06, 2013 at 01:32 PM

Everyone's metabolism is so different, I think you will simply need to experiment.

My n=1: I've been eating 50-100 carbs a day for the last 3 years. No problems.

Eating dairy, organ meats and a reasonable amount of seafood gives me the iodine, A & K2, and minerals I need (I also supplement 350 mg Magnesium.)

I suspect that many (if not all) of the folks having trouble with low carb are either eating too few carbs for their specific activity level/metabolism, accidentally restricting calories too much, or missing some vital micronutrients.

Since I do very little highly strenuous exercise, (dance "sprints" once a week, lots of walking/biking, BBS-style workouts every 4 days) I feel fine on this level. 2-3 hour hikes at a comfortable pace, no problem. I can generally go 5-7 hours between meals--longer if necessary.

I definitely feel the effects of low carb-induced insulin resistance at this level, but it really works for me since I no longer want to drink super sweet lattés anymore!

If I need to carb up for any reason, I do it with rice or potatoes alongside fat & protein to slow the absorption of glucose into my bloodstream. I only do this before a more strenuous hike or longer dance session.

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3157 · April 06, 2013 at 06:42 AM

I guess that would depend a lot on the philosophy of a certain crew. For example, I doubt that the Paleo crew or other VLC advocates would understand 'high carb' the same way that could, for instance, the Zone Diet advocates or fruitarians, just to give an example.

It also may depend a lot on the current hormonal status for every certain folk, as everyone of us has a personal metabolic condition that allows for more or less carbs tolerance depending on many things like insulin sensitivity, thyroid function, total fat cells on the body, if you do strenuous exercise or are sedentary, and the list may go on.

If I were to pick a standard, I'd pretty much agree with the following Mark Sisson chart.

what-qualifies-as-long-term-low-carb?

And as for the consequences of a long-term VLC diet, some think that it could lead to a lower thyroid function (it seems that low carb may lower T3), see this article from Dr. Paul Jaminet High LDL on Paleo Revisited: Low Carb & the Thyroid. Others think that this should not be an issue at all, like Dr. Ron Rosedale and Jack Kruse which are VLC advocates. Some people think that a minimum of 60 to 80 gr a day may be the sweet spot to get rid of possible issues due to VLC while keeping reasonably low.

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