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Thread: How can you go Low carb long term and remain healthy? page

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    savanasky's Avatar
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    How can you go Low carb long term and remain healthy?

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    Hi guys,
    I am sitting in a human bio lecture and my lecturer is saying that it is ultimately very dangerous to be low/zero carb because the using up of glycogen from protein creates ammonia which is damaging to the liver and kidneys. And that the brain requires 99% of energy in the form of glucose & potatoes should be eaten over steak.
    Anyway I know low carb is possible (Inuits, Masai, Sherpahs), but I don't know how they do it and remain healthy in terms of biochemistry. Anyone know? Would love to lay out paleo to him and the class.
    Thanks!

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    "If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat?" - Tom Snyder, talk show host

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    I eat no carbs for up to 4-5 days with no problems and refeed on the weekends.

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    Gluconeogenesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ketosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "If the diet is changed from a highly glycemic diet to a diet that does not provide sufficient carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores, the body goes through a set of stages to enter ketosis. During the initial stages of this process, blood glucose levels are maintained through gluconeogenesis, and the adult brain does not burn ketones. However, the brain makes immediate use of ketones for lipid synthesis in the brain. After about 48 hours of this process, the brain starts burning ketones in order to more directly use the energy from the fat stores that are being depended upon, and to reserve the glucose only for its absolute needs, thus avoiding the depletion of the body's protein store in the muscles."

    Yanked from wikipedia, no clue how accurate it is, but meh.
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    Our body does not require carbohydrates at all, you know. They are not necessary to the function of the human organism. So there is no problem going long term low carb.

    Cut out fats or protein though and you will be in deep doo doo.

    A good book to read is Living the Low Carb Life by Jonny Bowden, try your library.

    Read Gary Taubes article "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" from the NY Times.

    & here are a few more references for you.


    Health Benefits of a Low-Carbohydrate, High-Saturated-Fat Diet by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD

    How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream about poisoning our systems with grains

    Low-Carb Diet Reduces Inflammation And Blood Saturated Fat In Metabolic Syndrome & Low-Calorie Diet May Be Harmful for Bowel Disease Patients in ScienceDaily
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    Ammonia is turned into urea and is excreted by the body in urine.

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    My mind is shifting on this. While the body can function without carbs and even thrive for a while, I'm not entirely sure that long term optimum health is achieved on vlc. Optimum health is not the same as survival.

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    johneeeveee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrish2891 View Post
    Ammonia is turned into urea and is excreted by the body in urine.
    It apparently also comes out in sweat glands. I trained several athletes during the Atkins diet popularity who smelled of ammonia when they perspired. I had the same result back when i ate a TON of protein as a bodybuilder many years ago.
    This is an interesting discussion, and i think it's great that those in this community seem to examine all the options and share their personal experiences for others to consider. I have seen athletes thrive on the short term being "ketone adapted', but most ended up feeling the need to go back to carbs for fuel. It didn't seem to matter what sports they were involved in (bodybuilding, triathlon, powerlifting, track and field, etc). I am very interested in this topic, as I do train with some "primal" athletes, but not exactly sure of their macro ratios yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johneeeveee View Post
    It apparently also comes out in sweat glands. I trained several athletes during the Atkins diet popularity who smelled of ammonia when they perspired. I had the same result back when i ate a TON of protein as a bodybuilder many years ago.
    This is an interesting discussion, and i think it's great that those in this community seem to examine all the options and share their personal experiences for others to consider. I have seen athletes thrive on the short term being "ketone adapted', but most ended up feeling the need to go back to carbs for fuel. It didn't seem to matter what sports they were involved in (bodybuilding, triathlon, powerlifting, track and field, etc). I am very interested in this topic, as I do train with some "primal" athletes, but not exactly sure of their macro ratios yet.
    This is what I think my lecturer is going to say- that it is not long term sustainable. I can't help but believe Dr.K here in thinking that being ketogenic is best suited to cold adapted mammals that don't take part in rigorous exercise on a daily basis. Maybe it is true that if you want to run marathons or train daily then being a carb burner works best...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiercehunter View Post
    I eat no carbs for up to 4-5 days with no problems and refeed on the weekends.
    +1 (kind of)

    I've been using fat for fuel almost exclusively for 8 months or so. I don't know if this counts as long term but it's suiting me just fine.

    I only add in the carbs after heavy lifting to refill muscle glycogen. Adding carbs after lifting is relatively new to my routine, and I felt great before upping the carbs. It's not a lack of energy that has me eating them, but better recovery and size/strength gains.


    I'm not sure if I'm in the minority, but I actually get a slight euphoria feeling in ketosis.
    Apparently, my body is making all of the day-to-day sugars it needs on normal days.

    Note: I'm not exactly no-carb, as on non-heavy lifting days I do eat veggies, but it's almost always under 50g

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