We were at our friends home, sharing time with their family.  I got to talk with their son, who has always been an athlete and into exercise.  He and his wife are focusing on having a Gluten Free home and raising their young child more or less Paleo.  He told me that he personally was heading towards a low carb eating style.  And we started talking – and talking.  I followed up with this email.

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Tom:

It was great seeing you and your family.

These are the books you may want to check out. All are available on Kindle.

  • David Perlmutter: Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar –Your Brain’s Silent Killers (Neurologist POV)

Perlmutter marries Very Low Carb (Ketogenic Diet) with Gluten Free. This is an excellent book, but trying to live on the foods he allows – without actually knowing that your are gluten sensitive – is ridiculous. He is the first guy that logically explains why gluten has recently become a problem. I eat Cheese, Cream, Butter – unlimited – but I do not have milk only because of the Carb count.

I’ve read the Paleo stuff – Robb Wolf and others – and am not impressed. Perlmutter makes more sense.

  • Robert Lustig: Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (Endocrinologist POV)

He is anti Sugar – in any form – that is added to Highly Processed Foods. He is not in favor of any particular diet – as long as they limit the added sugar/simple carbs in Processed foods. He makes an excellent point about eating foods in their natural state if you are going to get the benefit of the fiber. I just wish he would get off his soap box.

Not a bad read – but can be boring.

  • Michael Moss: Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (Investigative Reporter POV)

I really enjoyed this one.  Gave me information I only suspected.  He validates that my skepticism was founded on reality.

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Basically they all confirm that sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar – no matter what the form or how “unprocessed” or “natural” it is.

They are not against using sugars in a normal manner, home cooking, etc. They are all against the added and hidden sugar in Highly Processed Foods. The end result – you can treat yourself to something from the local bakery – but – not something that comes in a box from the supermarket and has a shelf life longer than your life.  I have very few food items in my home that come in a Box or a Bag.  Most of our foods are unprocessed or minimally processed – the most highly processed food that I eat – Isopure Low Carb Whey Protein.  One Scoop a day in a cup of coffee – before working out.

I consider the “Atkins” Low Carb products and most “Gluten Free” products to be nothing more than Highly Processed Crap – no different from all the rest of the stuff on the supermarket shelves.  Michael Moss should do his next “exposé” about these foods.

There is also a difference between the needs of a growing child and an adult. Even a greater difference between a young adult and an older guy/gal.

A true ketogenic diet limits carbs to <50 grams. I usually eat closer to 25 net grams per day. You are switching your body to rely on dietary fats for energy rather than carbs.  You start producing Ketones – and burn those for energy.  An older person’s brain loses its ability to utilize glucose – so switching to Ketones – provides an alternate source of energy.

The value of coconut oil – aside from being a Paleo favorite – is that it is a medium chain Triglyceride and the liver processes it directly to Ketones – even in the presence of glucose.  This provides an extra energy boost to the muscles – which is why the Muscle Supplement Sites make a fortune selling it in capsule form to weight lifters.

Nothing here has anything to do with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) which occurs when the body has no insulin.  Different world – unfortunately – assumed to be part of a Low Carb diet – it isn’t.

I normally eat approximately 25-50 grams of carbs and 140 +/- grams of protein per day.  That equates to approximately 660-800 calories.  The rest of my 2,400-2,800 calories comes from dietary fats.  On any given day – my diet consists of 65-80% dietary fat.  My cholesterol and triglyceride numbers are all on target. My doctor just shrugs his shoulders and tells me to keep doing what I’m doing

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Suggested Low Carb Reading:

  • The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney

This is an excellent source for understanding the Low Carb way of life.  It probably makes sense to read this before Perlmutter’s book.  I am a big fan of Jeff Volek and rely heavily on his opinions about protein and exercise.

  • The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney

This is a short addition to the main book and speaks to the issue of living Low Carb and doing endurance activities.

  • Men’s Health TNT Diet: The Explosive New Plan to Blast Fat, Build Muscle, and Get Healthy in 12 Weeks by Dr. Jeff Volek & Adam Campbell

This is the book that really got me started.  Plan A is a Ketogenic Diet, while the others are akin to Carb Cycling.  I believe your dad has a copy.

Once I adapted to a ketogenic diet, I have never felt the lack of energy or the failure of strength.  Most people who attempt to switch to a Low Carb lifestyle give up during the adaptation phase (3-4 weeks) and claim they could not exercise on a Low Carb Diet.  Others mistakenly continue to eat low-fat while going low carb – not surprising that they have no energy.  You just need to understand the adaptation phase and its impact on your body.  I never really felt the full brunt of it – probably because I had already started limiting excess Carbs.

I hope you find the time to read some of these books. I would like to hear your take.

I’ve read way too many of these books.  What I’ve learned is to sift through the BS and find the middle ground that makes sense – for me.

Enough – I’ve started to bore myself.

Have a great weekend.

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