Every now and then we see a headline that absolutely knocks us off our chair. This one caught my attention:

Paleo diet: Low-carb, high-fat diet can lead to extreme weight gain and health risks 

The opening paragraph of the article in the International Business Times by Hannah Osborne on February 19, 2016 provides the thesis:

The increasingly popular Paleo diet could actually be making people fatter and increasing the risk of health problems, a study on mice has shown. The high-fat, low carbohydrate diet has no scientific evidence to back it as a weight-loss technique and poses particular risks to people who are already overweight and lead inactive lifestyles.

The first thing that got me was the equating of the Paleo diet with eating LCHF. Not a shot in hell. Still there is a study by researchers from the University of Melbourne which was published in the Nature Journal Nutrition And Diabetes. 

This was an experiment on overweight mice, all with pre-diabetes symptoms. One was placed on a low-carb, high-fat diet while the other was fed a mouse normal diet.

The reporter stated:

After eight weeks on the diet, the Paleo diet group had gained more weight, their glucose intolerance had gotten worse and their insulin levels had risen. They had gained around 15% of their body weight and their fat mass had doubled from 2% to 4%.

The researchers wrote: “We found that such a diet in pre-diabetic mice was associated with reduced glycaemic excursion after a meal but caused increased weight gain and adipose tissue mass. Overall, this diet resulted in greater impairment in glucose tolerance. Our results do not support the recommendation of an LCHFD [low-carb, high-fat diet] for use in pre-diabetes; rather interventions aimed specifically at reducing obesity and improving insulin sensitivity should be pursued.”

First the easy part – nowhere in the research do they equate Paleo with LCHV. That is the reporter’s bias.

The reporter stated that the LCHV was composed of 60% Fat and 20% Carbohydrates. The study stated:

The LCHFD contained 24 MJkg−1 digestible energy (3.1MJ or 13% coming from protein, 1.5MJ or 6% from carbohydrate and 19.5MJ or 81% from fat (Supplementary Table S1). The carbohydrate content of the LCHFD was exclusively derived from simple sugar (sucrose: 106gkg−1). The fat content of this diet was derived from 55% saturated, 37%monounsaturated and 8% polyunsaturated fats, by weight. The chow diet contained 13.5MJkg−1 digestible energy, with 2.7MJ or 20% coming from protein, 9.5MJ or 70% from carbohydrate and 1.4MJ or 10% from fat.

I do not know of any LCHF diet that gets 100% of its carbs from simple sugar.

I am not a scientist. I am not able to decipher all of the study – still – 100% of the carbs from simple sugar – and I am suppose to take these findings and rely on them for my diet. At this point – I think even my Primary Care Physician would disagree.

Nope! Not gonna happen!