Low carb a good idea???


Interesting article here somewhat debunks the low carb lifestyle: the Tsimane people in Bolivia are apparently the healthiest people in the world. They get 72% of their calories from carbohydrates (compared with 52% in the US); 14% of their calories from fat (compared with 34% in the US); Both Americans and Tsimane people get 14% of calories from protein, but Tsimane people have more lean meat.

Food for thought!!


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23 Replies

  • For me the low carb lifestyle was debunked when they found that the Atkins diet caused health problems. It sounds like the Tsimane have a low fat, high carb lifestyle. Mind you, their carbs are complex carbohydrates, not the processed one we eat so much of.

    Hubby always reckoned that he lost weight and felt healthier when he reduced the fat in his diet. He'll be interested in this report.

  • Yes, I think we could all do with a diet (and exercise) like these people CheerfulDragon .

    Not sure about the worms though !!

  • It'll turn out that worms are what makes them healthy heart wise!

  • These Amazonian people lead highly active lives, eat no processed foods, hunt for food, forage and fish. No wonder they need these healthy carbs for energy. They don't have access to junk food !

    They're off the internet, mobile phones and TV. They don't smoke. I'm considering a move there !! :) :)

    66% live with intestinal worms :( no tap water or electricity . Maybe I'll stay here. Interesting info Trimmerteacher , thanks for sharing.

  • Up until the intestinal worms part I was with you on the move 😆 but on second thoughts I'll stick to my hot running water and central heating 😍 xx

  • I'm surprised no one has offered intestinal worms as a weight loss aid. Drat! have I given someone an idea? :-)

  • Um yuk just the thought, but I can see the advertisements now,

    "Want to lose weight for just £55 per worm the convenient, easy to swallow way to lose those pounds 😯😯😱😱😂😂"

  • the more i think of it, the more enthusiastic I'm getting about the intestinal worms business. Can't you hear the catchphrase: "Git the last of the parasites". I'm picturing Mrs Brown in Moore St going "Worrums for sale! Anyone for the last of the parasites. They'll eat the fat off your arse in no time"

    Sorry. Blame it on Mrs Brown. Not me.

  • Interesting thread thank you. My mantra is moderation, moderation, moderation. I'm not cutting anything out just eating a lot, lot less. Therefore I can have that slice of cake but I don't have seconds. Xx

  • I would like guidelines that made it clearer what moderation is. For instance, last year the WHO lowered the added sugar recommendation from no more than 10% to no more than 5% of total calories.

    Similarly, for years the recommendation for carbohydrate intake has been 300g per day for a 2500 kcal diet, but the Perfect Health Diet found that half that amount was the optimal. Less than that the body attempts to make up the deficit from protein for example, more than that the body converts to fat.

    There isn't really a moderate amount for food that spikes insulin levels because once started it's hard to get off the roller-coaster of highs and lows that result in chronic illness.

  • Im out the intestional worm thing really put me off ;)

    Thanks for sharing


  • i eat low carb but allow myself to eat carbs after a workout.... thats why im at the gym every day so i can eat my sweet potatoes & butternut squash, wholemeal pasta/bread etc ha! .. it gives me something to work for in the gym x interesting article but eating low carb is working for me so far so will stick with it !

  • I'm with slim pickings. Moderation in all things!

  • I'd be concerned, that could be too much moderation ;)

  • Intestinal worms could be the way to go. At least I could say I'm eating for 2...3....4....5.....6......

  • I can see this illustrates that complex carbs are perfectly healthy to eat, not sure from that study how they can determine that saturated fat is bad, they certainly seem very healthy on their diet and lifestyle but there's so many variables they can't pin this down to an absence of something, you'd have to compare their current high carb diet with another group doing everything else the same except eating high fat to make a direct comparison. I don't think it mentioned rates of obesity which I imagine would be very low and could contribute to why cardiovascular health is so good rather than exactly what they eat. And nooooo to the worms!

  • It depends I think, low carb can be dangerous especially if you enter ketosis and start losing sodium, I ended up getting admitted to hospital while on the atkins diet as I was getting really bad side effects from being in ketosis. The hospital told me to stop the diet immediately as I was showing as producing way too much ketones. Low calorie definitely works its all in the mindset

  • Yes, low carb can be dangerous if you eat an excess of protein rather than having sufficient natural fat.

    Those people that focus on the first law of thermodynamics, calories in = calories out, tend to overlook the significance of the second law; entropy. A study was done that confirmed 'a calorie is a calorie violates the second law'. Basically, what we eat impacts our biochemistry from which our body decides what to do with the nutrients. As an example, the aforementioned excess of protein is easily turned to glucose with harmful side-products, including ammonia and uric acid for the body to attempt to cope with.

  • if you look at most traditional ways of eating the health effects are likely to be good (classified as Blue Zones). Hopefully this tribe will not start eating the Standard American/ Western diet any time soon.

    Very low carbohydrate diets can work very well for people with metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity) and some other health problems, but you need to know how do them correctly.


    As others have said, it's the type of carbohydrate we eat that is important. Cutting back on the sugar and processed carbohydrates is a good idea for all of us.

  • One study alone proves nothing either way. Multiple studies are needed to support or contradict any hypothesis. If you could find the same results in a number of other populations, then it would tell us something useful.

    I don't think there are any long term studies showing that there are health risks with the low carb diet, by the way. Not that it would suit me: just saying!

  • I found this interesting, too - only point I would make is the fact that their 72% of carbs doesn't come from biscuits and junk food. Just like fat, there's the good stuff and the stuff you shouldn't touch with a barge pole, and it's a great shame we have so much of one that it blinds us to the other. There's a danger that we just see the numbers and think that gives us carte blanche to get started back on the doughnuts... Low carb is, like most diets, useful for some people but there's not one single way of eating that's ever going to be the answer for everyone. Shame the media don't accept that.

  • Hear hear!

  • The discussion about carbs can get very heated, but in those discussions it is rarely acknowledged that there are carbs and there are carbs. There's high fibre ( as in the porridge from pinhead oatmeal i posted about elsewhere, and there is sugar. No professional or advisory body *ever* said that sugar was good for you. They may have said to eat carbs without being specific enough, but there is a huge distinction there.

    Now I need to read about those intestinal worms.

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