Let me first say that “low carb” is a very general term, and I chose the designation “Low Carb RN” (versus, say, “Keto RN”) for myself for a reason.
The vast majority of folks eat too many carbs. Hands down, no doubt about it. So some level of carb restriction is beneficial for every living person. In addition, the vast majority of people eat far too much processed foods. I hate to even call it food. It is more like food-like substances. So, we all need to reduce carbs and eliminate processed foods (as well as genetically modified foods). That is the bulk of my message. Reduce carbs and eat whole foods.
But then we get into the bigger questions, such as, how much carbs should people eat? Does everyone have to remove whole foods that are higher in carbs?
This website supports people at ALL levels of carbohydrate restriction that are eating a clean, real, whole food diet. My definition of low carb is <100g per day. I don’t think any human being needs more than that. But that is my opinion. My definition of low carb high fat, LCHF, is under 50g per day (with more fat), and a very low carb ketogenic diet typically being under 30g per day (with high fat – although some can be in ketosis with more carbohydrates). Your definitions may vary. (HERE is a good reference.) Some people have chosen low carb to lose weight and reverse diabetes. Some people just choose low carb because it is healthy and makes them feel good. Some people even need to gain weight!
I recommend that all people, regardless of their weight, health status or activity level, eliminate sugar, and all processed grains, including 100% wheat elimination, for all people. Sugar and wheat are toxic. I will never waiver on that.
But then the road starts to fork. What about starchy vegetables, rice, fruit and legumes? These are whole foods. Should we eat them, and how much?
This is why I chose the generic term “low carb” to describe what I support, although what I RECOMMEND may be different. What do I mean by that? Well, for those with diabetes, I would RECOMMEND under 50g of carbs per day (some do better around 30g). I know it is the most beneficial course to take and really important to avoid complications. So I will recommend it wholeheartedly, very vocally, and persuasively, lol! But what if a person doesn’t WANT that level of carb restriction? Not everyone on this planet desires to manage their diabetes with this level of diligence. Many people I work with live in poverty and have more trials and tribulations than you could imagine. So what if I can only get someone like this from eating the typical American diet of 400g of carbs per day to switch to a whole food, low carb way of living, and they eat 75g of carbs per day. Should I abandon them or support them? I will support them. This would be life changing for them.
What if, and this is actually true, I have many who follow my page that are low carb vegetarians? Now, this is not something I would typically recommend to someone who is coming to me for dietary advice. But, I am more than happy to honor the values of others. I will say that I am concerned more for those that choose a vegan lifestyle vs vegetarian, due to the lack of dietary cholesterol, because I believe it to be vitally important. Nevertheless, I can still help them to eliminate sugar and processed foods, garbage soy foods, and high sugar fruit. This means that they will still eat some legumes, root vegetables and whole unprocessed rice (Dr. David Perlmutter on whole unprocessed, non-gluten grains HERE) and possibly up to 100g of carbs per day. Should I abandon them or support them? I will support them. This would be life changing for them. (Vegetarian compatible with Grain Brain / Brain Maker Lifestyle? HERE. More resources for low carb vegetarians HERE.)
What if, I have zero carb total carnivores? Lol! This is also not something I would particularly recommend for someone coming to me for dietary advice. I really feel that some veggies are needed or at least extremely beneficial. But, if they have found that total carb elimination is best for them and their health condition or for their preferences, should I abandon them or support them? I will support them.
Everyone has to find out what works for them, their health, their preferences and their values. I support anyone who is trying to get healthier by eating real food and restricting carbs.
What about me personally? How do I eat? And what do I recommend?
I am damaged goods. And that makes me desire to be rigid about my health, most of the time, and because I like structure and order, lol!! I also feel terrible when I DON’T manage my health with diligence. However, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I let my own stressors get me off track. But 95% of the time, I’m stringent with myself. I personally have my own way of doing things. I would say that I most closely align myself with a very low carb ketogenic way of living. But I’m not obsessive about Ketosis or measuring ketones. I identify with this way of living because I try to choose mostly keto acceptable foods. However, I probably eat a little more veggies than most people on keto who are concerned about even vegetable fiber. I don’t rigidly restrict protein nor do I stuff myself with fat. I let my body tell me how much of those things to eat. I have eliminated most sugar (about 99% – I eat dark chocolate sometimes, and occasional berries), have eliminated all grains 100%, no starches, legumes for me either.
With that being said, I’m rigid with myself, but not fanatical as I once was. I’m a grown up now! Lol! For instance, when I cook chicken vegetable soup for my family, I use carrots and onions in it. If a few carrot slices make it into my bowl, I’ll eat them. I make banana muffins for my kids. The ingredients include almond flour, butter, cream, eggs, a healthy zero glycemic sweetener, and ONE banana for 24 muffins. Occasionally, I’ve been known to eat one of these muffins and enjoy it immensely. So basically, I had 1/24th of a banana. It’s not blasphemy, it’s just one slice of banana. It’s real food. My blood sugar doesn’t move. But if I am in a restaurant and my salad comes with croutons, they are going in the trash, because it is not real food.
Then I work strongly on other healthy lifestyle factors. Eating is only part of the picture.
With all that being said, this is my personal choice of how I have decided to live. While I would love to recommend this way of living to every person, (and at one time I really felt that there could be no other way that was acceptable ;), not every person wants to eat this way. I have a lot of die-hard keto or LCHF followers who are also very dedicated. And I applaud them wholeheartedly. But not everyone that follows my page is there, nor even wants to be there. I ultimately respect each person’s choice to find out what works best for them as long as it entails eating real food and keeping carbs in check.
So sometimes, you may see content on my page that is not suited to you personally. Just keep in mind that in the world of low carb, there are many paths. Whether you are low carb paleo, low carb vegetarian, low carb high fat, very low carb keto or zero carb, you are welcome here.
Happy low carbing to you!