Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good, Better, and Best

Abandoning the standard American diet (SAD) and embracing a low carb lifestyle is a very good thing to do. You immediately stop eating a lot of dietary toxins, you eat more real food and less processed junk, you lose weight, your blood pressure goes down, your lipid profile improves, and your blood glucose levels become normal. Plus a lot of other very healthy things happen, such as better sleep patterns, fewer problems with gall stones, reversing conditions associated with diabetes, and perhaps even improving your fertility.

However, as I learn more about the low carb lifestyle, I have discovered there are good reasons to follow the lifestyle (such as those mentioned in the previous paragraphs), better ways to live low carb, and perhaps even a best plan for healthy eating.

A better way of eating, for example, would be to abandon the SAD and eat, for example, organic, grass-fed meats instead of supermarket fare. Consume pastured eggs from free-range chickens, eat cream and butter from grass-fed cows, never use artificial sweeteners, and only eat organic vegetables.

Then there are the best plans, like those advocated by the Weston A. Price foundation, the Perfect Health Diet, or the Healthy Skeptic. In these diets, you follow the principles above for a better way of eating, plus you do other things like consume raw milk, eat a lot of organ meats such as liver, supplement with cod liver oil, meditate, reduce stress, etc.

While I agree that there is a better way to low carb, and perhaps even a best way, I have some issues with these approaches.  The major problem: the better and best methods are incredibly expensive. Grass-fed beef costs twice as much as supermarket beef and is hard to find. Also, adherents of the better and best ways sometimes take on the air of religious zealots with precisely defined dogma. Stray from this dogma at your peril, you potential food criminal!

I ran across a recent article calling out these so called low carb food Nazis and asking for a little calm on the subject. Abandoning the SAD, as in the good method I am following, provides for a lot of healthy benefits. My son and son-in-law are following the low carb lifestyle and are struggling to afford even that. What is the use of telling them to eat grass-fed beef and pastured butter? They are both seeing dramatic results doing what they can afford (they are both still undergraduates).

So, let me go on record as saying it is okay to use artificial sweeteners, buy supermarket meat and produce, and skip the liver. As you are able, incorporate what you can (you really will be more healthy on the better and best ways of low carbing) but by all means, do not abandon the low carb lifestyle if you cannot. You are already much more healthy than those eating the standard American diet.


  1. Hey, I found this pin board full of low-carb recipes! I thought I would post it here to share.

  2. Great site, thanks for posting the link.