How low is ‘low’ to call a Diet low carbohydrate
There are different opinions about this idea of Low carb Diets. We believe one of the clearest explanations on this idea has been provided by by Steve Phinney (MD, PhD) a physician-scientist and Jeff Volek (PhD) a Dietician-scientist in the book “The Art and Science of low carbohydrate Living” and we strongly recommend that book for anybody interested in following low carbohydrate Diets.
According to the authors, one way to define the threshold for carbohydrate to call it as a low carb Diet is “defined by what you as an individual perceive – it is that level of carbohydrate intake (be it 25 grams per day or 125 grams per day) below which your signs and symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance resolve.
At one end of this experiential range, someone with early signs of metabolic syndrome (e.g., high serum triglycerides and 10 extra pounds around the middle) might permanently banish these harbingers of ill health by holding total Dietary carbohydrate intake in the range of 100-125 grams per day.
At the other end of this spectrum might be a type-2 diabetic who, on a “balanced Diet” providing 300 grams per day of carbohydrate, requires 2 shots of insulin plus two other oral drugs to keep fasting glucose values even marginally controlled under 150 mg/dl. For this person to achieve an optimum initial response that allows reduction (and hopefully withdrawal) of diabetic medications, clinical experience has shown that holding Dietary carbohydrate at 20-to-25 grams per day is often necessary. For many type-2 diabetics, a few weeks at this level allows them to reduce or stop both insulin and oral medication while at the same time achieving better overall glucose control. A few months later, following substantial weight loss, some individuals might be able to increase daily carbohydrate intake above 50 grams per day and still maintain excellent glucose control, whereas others might need to remain below the 50 gram level to keep their type-2 diabetes in complete remission.
In either case, whether it is being able to lose weight and keep it off, or putting a frank case of type-2 diabetes into remission, how much you choose to limit your Dietary carbohydrate intake should be driven by your personal experience. As a result, the amount of carbohydrate that you decide to eat might vary considerably depending on your individual metabolic condition and the level of benefit you wish to derive”