Welcome to the Low Carb Lifestyle Learning Hub. Listen to Professor Tim Noakes welcome you here. My goal of this page is create a resource for both the practitioner, coach and every day person curious about using nutrition to reverse chronic health conditions that are caused by the modern diet. If you would like me to add anything, have a question, or would like to have your information added on here, please reach out. I am also looking for businesses who are interested in sponsoring the podcast. Contact me at email@example.com.
The evidence supporting the fact that the LCHF lifestyle is optimal for health is overwhelming and well established.
What is ‘metabolic health’ and why does it matter?
“They define metabolic health as having ideal levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without using medications. These factors directly relate to a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.”
Weight gain is usually a factor of metabolic hormonal imbalance. Fixing this balance then, leads to weight loss.
Great websites with lots of resources and information:
“Insulin Resistance (IR) is most likely the single most important factor in our health.” Dr Peter Brukner
If you are insulin resistant, you are at risk of becoming obese (if you’re not already), and developing a range of diseases, including metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurological disease, and for women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which sits in the abdomen. When we eat a carbohydrate food, the carbohydrate is broken down in to glucose in the gut and absorbed into the bloodstream. That’s when insulin get’s to work. It’s role is varied, but one of it’s main roles is to move the glucose out of the blood and in to tissues, especially the brain and the muscles where it can be stored as glycogen (the body’s storage form for carbs) for later use as a fuel. Once the storage capacity for glycogen in the liver and muscles is complete, insulin takes the excess glucose to the liver, where it is converted into fat. That fat will only be mobilised for fuel when insulin levels drop.
In a normal system, insulin and glucose levels drop after the glucose from a meal has been absorbed into the tissues, the body responds by feeling hungry and the brain tells us to eat again. This is why we feel much hungrier a few hours after a carbohydrate-dominated meal, especially one with a big sugar load, than after a meal of protein and fats.
When the diet is consistently high in carbohydrates, in the form of sugar or other carbs such as starches or grains, the level of insulin in the blood remains elevated. This both:
leads to storage of the excess carbohydrate as fat, and
prevents the breakdown of fat when we need fuel.
A third effect of long term high blood insulin levels is that after a time, the body’s tissues become resistant to its effects. Just as an alcoholics body becomes tolerate to alcohol, so too do our bodies become tolerant to insulin.
It was traditionally thought that obesity was the main cause of type 2 diabetes, and there’s certainly as association between the two, but the modern thinking is that insulin resistance is the cause of both obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The main cause of insulin resistance is a diet full of sugar and highly processed foods (including vegetables/seed oils). The high glucose load from these foods leads to high insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia), eventually leading to insulin resistance. Other factors lead to insulin resistance including poor sleep, and lack of physical exercise.
Hair loss can be an issue when any sudden change is made to your diet. It can also be caused by an underlying issue, stress, or simply not getting enough nutrients (especially animal protein) in the diet. I experienced hair loss when I went from Keto to Carnivore. It was more a shedding or thinning, that lasted 3 months. Generally it will right itself if it happens to you, however there are some things that might help or hinder. Watch the videos below to learn more.
As an ambassador for The Nutrition Network, I would highly recommend their programs to anyone interested in learning more about low carb nutrition. They stay cutting edge and are up to date on all that latest science, and have specific programs for practitioners, nurses, dietitians, and health coaches. Whether you’re just new to wanting to learn about low carb nutrition, or you want to take it to the next level, they will have a program for you. The Nutrition Network is a proud arm of the Noakes Foundation.
If you are embarking on a low carb lifestyle, I highly recommend you seek out the support of a GP who has an understanding of this lifestyle. Dosages for medications could change quickly and you need to make sure your GP understands what is happening in your body.
Metabolic health means the absence of metabolic disease. It’s how well your cells function throughout your body (including your brain) to give you the energy you require to function effectively. When this is not working effectively, it means we have metabolic syndrome, which is characterised by fat around our waist, high blood pressure, fatty liver, insulin resistance.
Watch this great video by Dr Robert Lustig as he talks about the three faces of metabolic syndrome.
As a Health Coach, I often help my clients learn to effectively intermittent fast. It can be a great tool to help with health and weight management. But like anything, it can also not work for you. If you push it too much or you rush in to it before becomming fat adapted, it could work against you. I recommend becomming fat adapted first, then watch your body naturally ease you in to intermittent fasting. All IF is, is only eating when you’re hungry. Either dropping a meal, or closing the window a little on when you do eat. It’s fun to play around with it, and there isn’t any rules on how to make it work for you. Below are some great resources for you on intermittent fasting.
This one is a chat I had with Caryn Zinn PhD:
This was the presentation Caryn did on Intermittent Fasting for the Low Carb Lifestyle Long Weekend 2020, Women & Fasting
Yes we’ve been convinced over decades now that red meat is bad for you (and the planet). But is this true? If you’re curious, here are some great resources for you.
Nina Teicholz – Red Meat & Health
Dr. Alex Petrushevski – ‘Red meat and cancer’
Georgia Ede, MD — “The Brain Needs Meat: Mental Health Benefits of the Carnivore…
Dr. Michael Eades – ‘Paleopathology and the Origins of the Low-carb Diet’
Red Meat & Cancer: 3 Thoughts from a Doctor – 2021
Dr. Paul Mason – ‘From fibre to the microbiome: low carb gut health’
Red Meat CAUSES Heart Disease? A New 2021 Study…
And this YouTube video by Dr Paul Mason really puts in to perspective how little doctors and specialists know about nutrition. If your doctor has told you to eat differently, don’t take that at face value. Be curious and do your own research.
It is very clear that we’ve been told to eat the wrong ‘fats’ for the last 30 years, and our health has suffered as a result. It’s not naturally produced saturated fats that we should be avoiding, but toxic man made vegetable oils (or seed oils). Listen to the experts on this and make up your own mind. It is now thought that seed oils are the catalyst for metabolic syndrome, and excess carbohydrates are like throwing fuel on the fire.
And perhaps the most effective one out there showing the dangers of seed oils:
It is a myth that you need carbohydrates to exercise. The body can make its own glucose for energy if needed from the liver, via a processed called gluconeogenisis. This is not the case when it comes to protein and fat. These are essential for us to get in our diet. When it comes to exercise, there is lots of myths surrounding whether we need carbs or not. If you’re an elite level athlete and you engage in high intensity sprinting, some carbs may be of benefit. However most of us are not that like, and for what we need, carbs are not needed. There is a lot of evidence on this. Here is some further information for you.
It’s important to understand the function of the 3 macro nutrients, carbs, fat and protein. This short video comes from my online program 30 Days to LCHF Your Way.
I recently interviewed Health & Running Coach, Daniel Velardo on carbs and exercise.
Prof Tim Noakes
Exercise Physiologist and Exercise Scientist, Richard Turnbull