The healthy approach to a low carb high fat diet (LCHF)
There is a huge amount of research that suggests eating low carb high fat diet has benefits beyond simply weight loss and fat burn by pushing you into ketosis. Ketosis is a healthy state that we reach when fat is converted into ketones in the liver that can be used as an energy source during periods when the intake of carbohydrate is low. But the problem is that often people are cutting out vital plant foods for fear of not being able to reach ketosis. In this article we explore the reasons why a high plant food diet is so important and how you can eat plenty of them and still successfully follow a high fat low carb programme.
It is common knowledge that high intakes of fibre have been linked to many health benefits. Regular bowel movements, good bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and healthy blood sugar levels are examples of these. And the risk of succumbing to more serious conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes are all lowered as long as you are having plenty of fibre in your diet. The beauty of fibre is that we as humans cannot break it down, but our invaluable gut microbes can. They actually feed on the fibre we cannot eat and if they do not get enough they starve and our digestive systems suffer.
Our gut microbes form part of our immune system and protect against disease by producing anti-bacterial and anti-viral substances. But if our diets lack the plant food fibre we need to keep us well we can encourage the growth of non-beneficial bacteria which will survive by consuming the mucosal layer of our gut. This mucosal layer is home to a host of immune cells that also protect our gut and the rest of our body from unwanted invaders. Damage to our gut can result in the development of disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as leaky gut.
It is possible to follow The In-Sync Diet which is high in plants foods and be on a LCHF diet by following these rules:
- Eat plenty of leaves but having a salad with your meal each day.
- Gradually add new vegetables into your diet so your system gets slowly acclimatized and you are not trying to force things too soon.
- Vary your vegetables as much as possible to increase the diversity of your good bacteria.
- Aim to eat as seasonally as possible to get your plant foods as soon as they have been picked.
- Try to have at least two to three mugs of vegetables per day.
- Cut out the root veg if you want to keep your carbs low.
- If you are eating three meals per day, make sure you are having vegetables at each of them.
- Fresh herbs and spices can all contribute to your plant food intake.
- Drink plenty of water.