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22.03.2015
I am a New Zealand registered nurse and nutritionist (Grad Cert Sci: nutrition, Massey Univ).
This stems from the work done by Cordain, Eaton and others whose research found that the majority of paleo and hunter gatherer diets are lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat than today’s diet.
A diet high in refined carbohydrate diets is not healthy – especially the standard western diet, where carbohydrates are eaten far in excess of requirements. Of course you don’t need to count carbs, but in my observation, many in the paleo world do not eat enough carbs. Do you know how much carb would have vegetable juice only from spinach salad and celery 32 oz? While this may be the impression that you have or it may even have been stated in comments by those who jump to conclusions, this has never been the position of any leading proponents of low carb eating that I have read: such as Gary Taubes. Surely it is up to each of us to find out the level of dietary carbohydrate that we can tolerate? And yes for the most part I am talking to people who have some weight to lose but are generally healthy. If you were to have more than 1 cup of the “non carbs” would you consider them a carb then? For instance, I discovered that a once-favorite peanut brand I liked (Emerald Dry Roasted) contained MSG, and it became clear why I mindlessly popped them one after another.
Yeah, it kinda sucks that our bodies crave sweet things, but over time you easily adapt to living without.
The next solution that seems to be all the rage for dealing with blood sugar issues is low carbohydrate diets.
The process of converting fats and proteins to glucose is actually part of the stress response. People recommend low carbohydrates diets as a way to get insulin under control; carbohydrates tend to cause a larger release of insulin.
If insulin is regularly high, removing carbohydrates from the diet is not solving the problem. So if low GI carbohydrates and low carbohydrate diets are not the answer, what should you be doing to help with blood sugar? Look at when you have the most problems with blood sugar and do as much of your eating in this period. You should look out for signs like feeling tired or irritable, strong cravings for food (particularly sweets) or coffee, getting cold hands and feet, frequent urination, clear urination or urgency to urinate, headaches, or changes in mood. The point is to work out what is the best pattern for you to give yourself stable energy levels throughout the day.
I am a Certified Zone Instructor, and have worked teaching Zone diet principles to hundreds of clients over the last 10 years.
However it needs to be noted (again) that this may be because of the dietary availability of carbohydrates, and the higher availability of protein sources. Very low carbohydrate diets are widely promoted for weight loss, and the low carbohydrate trend has become entwined with paleo eating.
Most feel better on a moderate carb diet, which is still a lot lower in carbs than the standard western diet, and more importantly if you eat a paleo diet, you will be cutting out the damaging carbohydrates.
I also see many CrossFitters eating low carb diets and suffering – low energy, poor recovery, sleep problems, adrenal fatigue.
This is because they eat lots of volume of vegetables, but not enough of the carbohydrate containing ones.


It was as close as I could get to net carbs, there is a lot of variation in foods, so this should be seen as a rough guideline. I juice every morning but only leafy green like spinach lettuce, celery lime lemon, cucumber, no beet no carot, how should I count it?
So, I am considering backing off protein a little and increasing carbs a little to see if this will help increase my energy and workout recovery. Keep your blood sugar low by avoiding sugars, breads, starches – and enjoy a high-protein, high-fat diet. I switch to a better brand of peanuts (from The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg – delicious!) Note that while semi-low carb, peanuts in general should be eaten in very small amounts. I like siggi’s even the sweetened varieties (agave nectar) has 14 grams of protein, 11 grams of Carbohydrates (9 from sugar), and it is fat free. I got derailed when I got sick and was put on some medications that have steroids in them, muscle mass increased, but blood sugar was through the roof (nasty side effect) and I was in no condition to get extra exercise in.
When the diet is insufficient in carbohydrates – whether that be intentional or not – the body has to get this energy from somewhere else. You may have heard that you can go for weeks without food, but only a couple of days with water. They are fantastic as part of the body’s stress response and nice to know you have them in the locker when they are needed. Insulin is seen as something bad as it supposedly leads to diabetes and fat storage, so if you can have a diet with low carbohydrates then insulin levels will be lower making you thinner and healthier. In the short-term, it can have a great effect as insulin levels go down with less carbohydrates; the problem is it doesn’t stay like this.
When the body switches into the conversion mode, using fats and protein for energy, it is not very discerning where it is getting it from. The body uses fat cells to store away toxins to be stable and minimise damage to the body.  People’s fat cells are also incredibly high in unsaturated fats, mostly because of the cheap vegetable oils that have entered nearly all our foodstuffs.
Root vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, yam, potatoes, squashes (summer and winter), swede, turnips, beetroot, and celeriac are all fantastic. They have much more problems with blood sugar in the evening (or even while sleeping); they would do better to be eating a bigger meal later in the day. We will also look at some new solutions that I have been researching and trying out on myself. He is a nutritionist, working with works with clients on a one-on-one basis, as well as creating online trainings and products about health and nutrition.
More recently after finding that eating Paleo food choices was the "icing on the cake" health wise, I have become a Paleo enthusiast and teacher. Quality carbohydrates eaten in the context of a paleo diet will be less that the standard diet. I then experimented with Atkins, thinking this must be the ultimate in avoiding carbs, and gave myself some sort of terrible hormonal imbalance – my skin was shocking, periods irregular, no energy, just a mess. Don’t have any food issues other than enjoy eating sugary food which I stopped since Paleo became my way of eating. But, a diet low in carbohydrates means the body has to constantly convert fats and protein to glucose and this means higher circulating amounts of stress hormones. While carbohydrates cause the biggest rise in insulin, protein and fats can also cause it to rise. So while you have just eaten a big meal of fat and protein, the body also breaks down its own tissues to be used as energy.


The catabolic state of breaking down the tissues liberates these toxins and oxidise the unsaturated fats so they are now circulating in the body.
While some may be high on the GI index, they have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity in the body and your ability to get energy into the cells.
Tropical fruits like mango, banana, pineapple, lychee, guava, papaya and watermelon seem to get lots of good press in the nutrition sphere.  I find that locally grown and seasonal fruits can be just as useful at helping with blood sugar balance. I tend to have breakfast around 7:30am, then at 10am have another proper sized meal, and then have a big lunch around 1pm. With these symptoms in mind, experiment with changing your meal schedule around and eating more at the times these problems arise.
As part of the post I will explain why I now drink a lot less water and why I have actively started eating more sugar.
He is the author of The Health Trap: Why "Healthy" Eating Isn't Always Healthy which is available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA. I really don’t need to lose weight but am flabby around the waist especially after gaining weight to help increase muscle mass while lifting weights (back squat, deadlift, and military press) which are part of my Crossfit workouts. The body naturally switches to using fats or protein for energy and things carry on as usual.
As a fail safe the body is able to convert fat and protein to glucose, but this only happens in the presents of the stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This is not the case and insulin is actually very important; you want insulin to rise after a meal to help with sugar getting in your cells so it can be used for energy. Over time, insulin levels begin to creep up again even though there is fewer and fewer carbohydrates in the diet.
This means that once the energy needs have been met these tissues once again to be repaired. I don’t seem to get the same blood sugar problems in the afternoon and might have a small snack around 4pm and then a lighter dinner. As you become in tune with your problems times you can become more pre-emptive so the issues don’t arise. Also, as I’ve gotten fitter and slimmer, my carb tolerance and maybe even need for carbs has increased.
You haven’t dealt with the mechanism that causes the problem, but just tried to sweep it under the rug.
It would be one thing if the conversion were happening just on the food you are eating, but this is not the case. It does it at a rate that it can excrete the toxins and manage the oxidative damage with anti-oxidants. You end up with someone who is eating basically no carbohydrates, but has high insulin levels like they are living off soda and chocolate all day.
You end up wasting a lot of energy on needless catabolism: wasting energy that could be better used for many other functions within the body. Using fat and protein for energy speeds up this process, but overburdens the liver and the rest of the detoxification system.



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