Dealing with doctors over your diabetes diet
Q: Does restricting carbohydrates reduce energy and cause fatigue?
A: Quite the reverse. Fatigue and energy loss are usually signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). The correct low-carb approach will keep your blood sugar levels stable. Carbs are usually thought of as 'energy foods', and it is true that carbs do provide energy. But they don't provide the best energy. Fats do that. And fat is what you should eat to replace the energy lost from carbs.
The people who experience fatigue at the beginning are those on other plans which cut carbs too low to start with — levels as low as 20 grams are common. This is why we recommend 60 grams. At this level these symptoms are avoided.
That means cutting down on carbs — but not cutting them down too much.
Q: Does restricting carbohydrates cause headaches?
A: Not if you don't cut down too much. It was thought that the brain used only glucose as an energy source. But recent research from Japan has demonstrated that it can also use fats just as well.21 All the reports of headaches are associated with diets which cut down drastically on carbs at the start. The transition from one kind of fuel to another can cause problems if that change it too drastic. This is another reason not to cut carbs below 60g to begin with.
Q: Is my breath going to smell funny on this diet?
A: No. The 'badgers' breath' associated with one popular low-carbohydrate diet is not a problem on this plan because the carbs are not as restricted. This book advocates a lower-carb approach by avoiding refined carbohydrates. It is only very severe carb restriction that triggers the extreme 'ketosis' which causes smelly breath.
Q: Should I expect to be constipated?
A: No. The liberal use of green, leafy vegetables, both cooked and as salads, will ensure that you are not constipated. Drinking at least 2 litres (3 ½ pints) of water will also help to avoid the condition.
A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life.
Clarissa Dickson Wright
"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA