A Plant-Based Low-Carb Diet?

According the Annals of Internal Medicine, diets that emphasize animal sources of fats and protein are associated with higher all-cause cardiovascular and cancer mortality [1], but we didn’t need the Annals of Internal Medicine to tell us this information, rather, we just needed them to confirm it for scientific substantiation.

Low-carb diets, even after Dr. Robert Atkins’ passing, due to a heart attack, is the most prevalent weight loss-only diet around. It comes in so many different forms, is the underlying mechanism within so many eating styles, including the Paleo diet, and is packaged under so many brand names, it is no wonder why so many people are dying of heart disease and cancer – even if they are thin.

According to nutrientrich.com adviser Michael Gregor M.D., “People on low-carb diets live significantly shorter lives, with more heart attacks and cancer deaths – sure you may lose some weight, but the only way we may be able to enjoy it, is with a skinnier casket.” You can see Dr. Greger’s latest Nutrition Facts video on this subject here, where he talks about a study done on a plant-based, aka, the “Eco Atkins Diet” and it’s effect on body weight and blood lipids, as compared to animal-based low-carb diets and the Standard American Diet.

What is so interesting about this study, is that the study was built around the idea that maybe the problem was not high fat, high protein, but that the problem was high “animal” fat and “animal” protein. So they constructed a vegan (100% plant-based) version of the Atkins Diet, with mock meats, seitan, tempeh, veggie meats, textured vegetable protein TVP, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

Were the effects of a plant-based low-carb diet good?

Well it actually worked well, even though the study was only one month long. In 1 month, the participants’ LDL was down 20%, confirmed by the Harvard Study, which sought out people eating this way out of 100,000 people. Now this was a very short term study and not conclusive of much, but here is what we was concluded…

“A Low carbohydrate diet based on animal sources was associated with higher all-cause mortality in both men and women, whereas a vegetable-based low carbohydrate diet was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rates.”

Of course this was compared to the nutrient-poor SAD Standard American Diet, and against the animal-based low carbohydrate weight loss-only diet (with no real focus on health and longevity), and not compared to a nutrient- rich healthy eating style, where you are eating up to 90% or more Plant Based Nutrient Rich™ – the success formula for healthy eating – which is a whole different league of eating as you are learning.

What matters is not the ratio of fats, to carbs to protein, but the source – whether the food you are eating is coming from plants or animals. Plant protein and fat is not only preferable, it is essential because we are now getting our calories in a nutrient-rich package.

As Dr. Fuhrman says, “We don’t want protein, we want nutrient-rich protein, we don’t want fat, we want nutrient-rich fat, we don’t want carbohydrate, we want nutrient-rich carbohydrate![2]”

If you are talking weight loss-only, you can make great arguments for low-carb animal-based foods, but you may not be able to keep it up for long. But, weight loss-only is not what we’re up to at nutrientrich.com or what you should be up to. Animal foods are nutrient poor, even if they are high in protein and some vitamins and minerals. Animal foods have no fiber or phytonutrients for starters, while including other substances we don’t need from food. So, why would you ever want to base your diet on these foods?

Without the nutrients you can only get from a more plant-based nutrient-rich diet, you will survive, not long, and you will never thrive with a fully-functioning healthy body. That is why you want to make the Switch to Rich, Nutrient-Rich Healthy Eating for Life!

1. Annals of Internal Medicine, Low Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality, 2010, 153:289-298

2: Nutrition Excellence

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