After being engaged with, but stand offish from, the online Paleo community I'm beginning to wilt and concede to the relentless arguments advanced by the gaggle of dietary adherents and gurus.
The main source of my reticence is to shield myself from dietary obsessions. Why sign on for a fetish about food and embrace eating like some born again religious nutter.
But then I did change my approach to what I put in my mouth and good things followed.
I eat what is called a low carbohydrate diet. That's been my rule of thumb and taste bud for over two years. Eating low carb is also the best way to keep my blood sugar down and technically my Diabetes II is 'controlled' within a range that damages me less.
The conundrum of eating low carb is that if you reduce your carbohydrate intake what do you eat instead?
Low carb diets are often referred to as high protein diets -- and that seems a logical summation. But the diet's properties is complicated by the fact that low carb diets can instead, or as well, be high fat. In fact in Sweden the term LCHF is used: Low Carbohydrate High Fat diet.
I don't need to tell you how that comes across: to lose weight and/or be healthy the advice is that you eat more fat.
Essentially this is where Paleo -- the Paleolithic Diet -- comes in as Paleo cuisine is not afraid of fats, or offal . Its core proscriptions are primarily grains and legumes.
Leaving aside the question of the anthropology of what was consumed in the Paleolithic era and the many dietary regimes of contemporary hunter gatherers, the 'Paleo lifestyle' with its mix of 'exercise' and food is being backed up by a lot of very recent scientific research.
So Paleo is enticing...and I've used myself as a guinea pig to hesitantly explore it.
At this juncture I'm happy to pursue the following principles:
- Low carb is good: I suspect that I'm eating on average 50-90 grams of carbohydrates a day. I'm not hungry and my blood sugar readings are very decent. While I had lost weight, it has now plateaued.
- It's possible to live without grains. Yep: no bread or rice or corn and you can still live well. I also pass on potatoes and other carb dense foods.
At the moment I've been upping my protein intake -- by eating more meat and eggs -- and reducing my carbohydrates further to see what happens. But I'm wondering whether a better approach -- albeit a more radical one -- is to eat more fat instead (ie: rather than simply eat 'more meat'). Soon after I began this journey I adopted a low carb Mediterranean diet and drowned myself in olive oil as my primary fat source while eating limited quantities of lean meats. My current variation is to go on a sort of bacon binge and not blink when the fatty juices hit the pan...but maybe there's another way?
When you eat like this you feel like a naughty boy: 'Fat. Fat Give me fat!'
There is an opinion being advanced that to be truly successful low carb diets need to be high fat and the rationale is based on how fat and carbohydrates are metabolised by the body.
Fortunately I am under excellent medical care and my supervisory package includes a dietitian. On my current course of experimentation I am at odds with the dietitian (as she won't endorse animal fats as kosher tucker) but while my path results come in better each time -- assuming the the trend continues -- what she doesn't know won't be hurting me.
The irony is that I feel better eating more meat than I have been -- and eating even less carbohydrate. Will I feel as good substituting that 'meat' with more fat?
The other questions is: why would I do this ? I mean, why bother?
I think the key to this is that I want to lose more weight -- in fact I need to lose more weight if I am to reduce both my blood sugars and my blood pressure further. There is simply no way around that imperative. While I've never ever fitted within those obscene BMI parameters, because of all the exercising I've been doing I'm carrying much more muscle and less fat than or yore. I'm also fit in a remarkable way for my age.
But the weight has to go.All I have to do is lose it... and I'm ready to sit for the before and after shots.
So that's why I bother.
Because of what I've been doing I have in fact turned my health around. Despite the many brutal relapses of Fibromyalgia day in and day out (and of late it as been hard living in my skin), these other conditions and symptoms that were bearing down on me are being held in check.
Fats come in different shapes and sizes and it isn't about just eating around the lean.
Cream, eggs, butter, nuts, avocados, fish, olive oil... are all a rich source of fat.
Give me some.
Give me some.
Want more info?Low carbing on the web is almost obsessional, but if you want straight up info without hype or religiosity you could do no better than touch base with the Swedish physician, Andreas Eenfeldt who is very generous, detailed and scientific with the resources he offers on his site. LCHF for Beginners is a great place to start.