Well saturated fat story has been very prevalent in the media lately
because it’s really been the cornerstone of our dietary guidelines in the sense
that we’ve advocated for lowering saturated fat and been telling people
for almost four decades now to reduce the saturated fat in their diet with the
intention to reduce risk for obesity and diabetes and heart disease. However
recent evidence has clearly indicated that there is no association between
dietary saturated fat and risk for heart disease or diabetes and so we’re
rethinking this whole paradigm around saturated fat and we’ve done some of the
seminal work in our laboratory that has linked the effects of saturated fat to
the amount of carbohydrate in your diet. And what’s really important understand
is it’s not so much the dietary saturated fat that we need to be
concerned with, it’s whether or not you’re accumulating saturated fat in your body
and your membranes in your arteries because if you do, that is associated
with risk for heart disease, and it turns out dietary saturated fat has little to
do with how much saturated fat we store it’s actually the carbohydrate in our
diet that’s contributing to synthesis of saturated fat in the body as well as
storage in an accumulation of saturated fat. So if you over consumed carbs then
you put your body into a metabolic state where you’re more likely to store the
saturated fat so it’s really a story more about carbohydrates than it is
about saturated fat in the diet. Hunger is often a result of decreased energy
supply to the brain and the brain is a very energetically expensive organ. It
burns about 600 K cals per day just being a brain and that’s primarily comes
from glucose, or sugar, and if the brain has any interruption in that supply of
sugar to the brain it signals you to want to eat, in particular eat
carbohydrates and sugar, and so when people go on a low-calorie low-fat diet
they often don’t have enough carbohydrate coming in the diet to feed
their brain. And that’s why they that low-fat low-calorie diets tend to fail
long term despite even heroic amounts of willpower. An alternative approach is if
you restrict calories but also restrict carbohydrate. The brain can adapt to
using molecules called ketones which accumulate on a low-carbohydrate
low-calorie diet and in that case you can restrict calories but the brain is
actually well fed because ketones are circulating at a very stable and
sustainable level to feed the brain so for many people restricting calories is
better achieved by restricting carbohydrates rather than restricting
fat because it feeds the brain. The term I prefer to use is a well formulated
low-carbohydrate diet as opposed to in practice what amounts to a casual
approach to restricting carbohydrates and I mean by that is requires more than
just simply limiting potatoes and sugar in your diet and other starches. Actually
you need to understand how to manipulate the fat quality the protein level in the
diet as well as paying attention to minerals and vitamins in terms of
optimizing those nutrients as well. And so whole science behind how to go about
formulating a low-carbohydrate diet so that it optimizes health and most
important that it’s sustainable long-term. The main adaptation to a low-carbohydrate diet is
that your body switches from relying on carbohydrates for fuel you to using fat
for fuel and that has a lot of advantages associated with it- you sort
of relieved yourself from this dependency carbohydrate and instead
train your cells in your body to use your own body fat for fuel and also burn
fat that you’re eating, and this cellular switch to fat for fuel makes it easier
to lose weight, makes it easier to manage many chronic health conditions like pre
diabetes and diabetes and perhaps even heart disease and cancer as well but
fundamentally thats whats happening yourselves or switching their fuel
source over from carbs to fat. Forty years we’ve been telling athletes
that you need to consume high carbohydrate diets and carbohydrate load
before events in order to optimize performance and interesting they were
rethinking that entire paradigm now too because of a wide range of athletes are
switching from high carbohydrate diet essentially abandoning the carbohydrate
loading approach and instead it adapting very low-carbohydrate high-fat
moderate protein diet and these athletes are not just finishing races, in many
cases they’re actually winning and in some cases setting course records so in
some ways we’re almost rewriting textbooks in terms of what we’re
learning about your metabolism and high-level athletes and what their
capabilities can be if they adapt to a low-carbohydrate diet. For individuals interested in adopting a
low-carbohydrate lifestyle, there there is wide variability between
people and how they respond to a low-carbohydrate diet and what level of
carbohydrate restriction would be appropriate for them but a good place to
start is to actually measure your ketone levels which is possible but at this
point in time with with a finger stick and using a typical glucometer that is
adapted to measuring ketones instead of glucose and so you have an immediate
resolved if you will in terms of how your body is responding to the current
level of carbohydrate you’re consuming on average for most people to be in a
state of ketosis requires consuming less than approximately 50 grams per day but
if you’re relatively healthy and exercising that number may be closer to
70 or 80 grams per day if you happen to be a type 2 diabetic or someone who’s
profoundly insulin resistance that number may be lower it thirty five or
even thirty grams per day so there’s no real way to know unless you actually
measure the result and that gives you some feedback in order to adjust your
carbohydrate intake so it turns out that type 2 diabetics who are the most carbohydrate
intolerant respond the most favorably to a low, well formulated ketogenic diet
and it doesn’t just prevent the disease, in many existing type 2 diabetics
you can put their disease into remission. I don’t like to use the term cure
because of that you may not have cured their insulin resistance but by
measuring any signs or symptoms of diabetes they would essentially not have
the disease so it’s a very very powerful tool for managing and even reversing
type 2 diabetes