The Whole Food Dietitian, a.k.a Dr Caryn Zinn, brings forth several inaccuracies within the LCHF section of a recent article in the NZ Nursing Review, titled “Fad Diets: What do dietitians say about the latest crop?”
What a shame that these types of articles are written and published. Nurses have contact with many patients / clients who really need help with their health, and could therefore be key personnel to spread good messages. Needless to say that this article does NOT represent the view of all dietitians. As a dietitian, it is embarrassing for me to read this purely because of the multitude of inaccuracies that are laced throughout the article.
Some KEY inaccuracies just within the LCHF section:
1. ARTICLE POINT:
LCHF is not suitable for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes on medication (other than Metformin) because of the risk of hypoglycaemia or ketoacidosis.
1. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
On the contrary, LCHF is most suitable for people with diabetes. Hypoglycaemia is usually prevented with LCHF – if you don’t go up, you don’t tend to come crashing down! Or is this just too logical? As for ketoacidosis, again in the context of well-controlled low carb, this doesn’t actually eventuate.
2. ARTICLE POINT:
Some people only hear part of the message and see it as a licence to eat high levels of saturated fats, such as butter and fatty meats, without changing other aspects of their diet
2. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
People only hear half the message in the mainstream nutrition world anyway. People need to take responsibility. If the LCHF message was actually communicated to the world properly (as we’re trying to do) you wouldn’t have this problem.
3. ARTICLE POINT:
A high saturated fat intake results in a higher cardiovascular risk; the reduction in saturated fat intake in the past 50 years has been an important factor in reducing heart disease rates.
3. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
No need to re-hash here – read the literature people!
4. ARTICLE POINT:
A blanket restriction on all carbohydrates is too restrictive and unnecessary.
4. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
No-one says it’s a blanket restriction on all carbohydrates – that is an incorrect understanding of this way of eating.
5. ARTICLE POINT:
Some highly nutritious foods that contain carbohydrates – like whole grains, legumes and vegetables – have been shown to protect against heart disease.
5. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
And who exactly is disputing this? Totally agree, however the wholegrain story is more complex than just the beneficial fibre and B vitamin story that they provide. The excessive carb load, the rising gut-related problems, the level of processing, plus the fact that what we have in our supermarkets are not true wholegrains is somewhat stacked against them
6. ARTICLE POINT:
The restrictive nature of this diet means it may be unsustainable in the long term.
6. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
Says who? Not the literature. How different is this from the restrictive nature of the mainstream “low fat” guideline? In any way of eating there will be some element of restriction, like sugar and junk foods for example. Methinks the pot is calling the kettle black!
7. ARTICLE POINT:
Some versions suggest taking a multivitamin supplement, suggesting the restricted diet was not providing all the necessary vitamins and minerals
7. CZ DIETITIAN POINT:
With extreme keto perhaps supplementation is warranted, but this is still a very unfair statement for several reasons. When you look at mainstream nutrition, when you restrict calories, you could argue (on the RDI argument) that nutrients aren’t met either and supplementation is required. Of course this doesn’t take into consideration the fact that LCHF eating greatly increases the bio-availability of nutrients from foods.
I could go on, but won’t for want of destroying my keyboard from “angry typing” – needless to say, Nursing Review will be getting a rebuttal from us…stand by!
If you missed the article, you can read it in full here: http://www.nursingreview.co.nz/assets/Issues/June-2015/Nursing-Review-June-2015-Fad-Diets.pdf