18

votes

If you go high fat must you also go low carb?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 09, 2011 at 6:55 PM

After reading through Jack Kronk's question regarding his cholesterol numbers I got to wondering whether high fat is only healthy in the absence of high carb and vice versa. Grok pointed out in Jack's thread someone who consumed a ton of fruit but still maintained trigs low, so obviously it's not the fruit or the carbohydrate on it's own that raises trigs, but if that's the case then what does? Is it the pairing of carbohydrate with fat that does a number on our cardiovascular health? Think hamburgers, pizza, french fries drenched in ranch; typical high-reward foods seem to be the most dangerous. We don't know whether our ancestors were high fat or high carb, but we do know they were either one or the other. If they ate tubers daily I can assure you they didn't drown them in fat. Could high carb and high fat be a lethal combination, even if both sources of starch and fat are coming from generally healthy foods, such as sweet potato and coconut oil?

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 17, 2013
at 12:27 AM

Well, no, that's not what I said at all. Maybe you are responding to a different comment and put this on mine by mistake?

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 01, 2013
at 03:12 PM

So your saying its fine to have both high carb and high fat foods as long as your not taking in to many calories and your insulin is in check

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Grok, well if calories are not coming from carbs, theve got to come from somewhere, hence high fat.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Congrats for realizing that Nance. Most the time I sit down to 1-2 lbs. I order them 22lbs at a time online. Dates are great for exercise too. I eat around 5 per hour give or take a few. When i was in AZ I would ride my bike and get them farm fresh! :) http://castlegrok.com/bard-valley-dates/

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:25 PM

per the website wiseGEEK "Despite their sweetness, medjool dates only contain about 66 calories each. They are a good source of fiber and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. They do have a significant amount of fruit sugar, but this can make them a perfect alternative to other forms of dessert." Sometimes I eat one, sometimes 2, sometimes 3 but if I don't eat anything sweet I won't be on this lifestyle for long.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:12 AM

In the presence of high fat, cells don't clear the blood of the sugar. Problems happen. See your last "Carbo coma" on Thanksgiving for an example. If you like the way you feel on high-fat low-carb, you probably don't know any better. I'm not in the "fat is bad for you camp", but don't understand the paleo communities love for supplementing it. Guzzling refined "healthy" fats for health. Since when did that become a good idea?

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:08 AM

In the paleo world you do. ALL THAT SUGAR! Dates... are you nuts!!! ;) 450 calories from fruit. Think of all the evil frooktose. Congrats on your weight loss and healthier relationship with real foods.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:54 AM

For example Jack Kronk is 5'7 and he weighs 155lbs, marathon runner is 5'7 and weights 120lbs. The marathon runner doesn't have that much LBM, most people have the LBM of marathon runners, what they don't have is a physiological adaptation to running in the muscle so the muscles have more mitochondria and store more glycogen. Regular weight lifting gives the same effect, but it takes 10 seconds to start using glycogen so endurance dips into glycogen more.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Sensible enough.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Not to put too fine a point on it, lucky, but we are all actually burning both fat and sugar all the time always. Just normally living. With certain exercises there are certain times when more glycolysis will occur,or more lipolysis, but humans at rest, just chillin out are burning both always.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:25 AM

I would think a long distance runner has a high proportion of muscle compared to their very light body weight. Thus both Jack and the long distance runner have muscles that can handle high carb loads.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Muscle weight/total weight ratio doesn't mean anything. Only muscle weight and amount of mitochondria determines how much energy you use. Plus exercise is a huge variable. For example a marathon runner needs way more carbs and fat than jack kronk and could weigh 120lbs. A fat guy with as much muscle as jack kronk needs more energy than jack kronk. Add in exercise and it's a guessing game. Because of his high triglycerides Jack doesn't seem like a good example His information could be diagnosed wrong though and the high trigs could be a coincidence. He probably doesn't walk enough.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:18 PM

also, i hear what you're saying but i think we're talking about two different things. if a person is doing high intensity exercise, they will be using glycogen stores to do so but if they're keto-adapted, chances are that they're using much more fat for energy when not doing intense exercise.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:16 PM

@wavehunter a person who is eating is low-carb, high fat diet is utilizing a different pathway for energy than a person who is eating a high carb- low fat diet. the person who is low carb/ high fat is likely in ketosis a good bit of the time while the person on a lowfat/high carb diet is utilizing a glycolytic pathway. at least that's the way i've understood it but i could be wrong.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on July 09, 2011
at 09:39 PM

For me personally: when I went on a high saturated fat, high carb paleo diet (carbs from sweet potatoes, fruits, etc.), I felt terrible and got minor chest pains, acne, etc. Thus, I stayed away from coconut for awhile. However, now that I am lower carb, saturated fat only energizes me--there are no longer any of those former side effects. I can seriously eat 7 oz of dried coconut and feel awesome. My numbers are also terrific (75 HDL, 79 LDL, 11 VLDL). I believe Cordain published something about this a few months ago. I personally believe SAD + saturated fat = terrible consequences.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:27 PM

No one is in fat mode and no one is in carb mode. Everyone is in the same mode and it is based on activity intensity.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Yep, I absolutely think it's a balance. High fat/high carb seems like a recipie for disaster.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on July 09, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Very interesting question.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on July 09, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Very good question and I look forward to the answers. IMO so much of it is genetics. I haven't had a lipid panel since I went high-fat, moderate carb paleoish, but my pre-primal numbers on very high carb (350+g daily), high fat (lots of Omega 6), often vegetarian diet were total 156, LDL 76, HDL 74, trigs 54. Almost everyone in my family has low total/LDL, high HDL. No heart disease at all but lots of depression...

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10 Answers

best answer

5
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on July 09, 2011
at 07:48 PM

It seems to be intuitive- and I say that knowing that intuition can lead you astray- that you should try to have energy balance. If you're using fat for fuel then a huge amount of carbs may be energy overload and throw something out of balance. Likewise, if you're primarily using carbs for fuel than consuming a lot of fat may do the same. Lately I've been eating both in moderation and feeling pretty good on that. I only feel "off" if I consciously increase either- tinkering a bit too much.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:16 PM

@wavehunter a person who is eating is low-carb, high fat diet is utilizing a different pathway for energy than a person who is eating a high carb- low fat diet. the person who is low carb/ high fat is likely in ketosis a good bit of the time while the person on a lowfat/high carb diet is utilizing a glycolytic pathway. at least that's the way i've understood it but i could be wrong.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:27 PM

No one is in fat mode and no one is in carb mode. Everyone is in the same mode and it is based on activity intensity.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Not to put too fine a point on it, lucky, but we are all actually burning both fat and sugar all the time always. Just normally living. With certain exercises there are certain times when more glycolysis will occur,or more lipolysis, but humans at rest, just chillin out are burning both always.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on July 09, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Yep, I absolutely think it's a balance. High fat/high carb seems like a recipie for disaster.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:18 PM

also, i hear what you're saying but i think we're talking about two different things. if a person is doing high intensity exercise, they will be using glycogen stores to do so but if they're keto-adapted, chances are that they're using much more fat for energy when not doing intense exercise.

4
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 10, 2011
at 03:20 AM

High glycemic carbs like flour and sugar are what cause cholesterol problems. If you cut those out and get your carbs from veggies and a small amount of fruit it just kind of becomes low carb by default, and, if you keep your protein consumption the same, then fat consumption goes up. And, no, it's not necessarily carbs that are the problem. It's the high glycemic carbs found in highly processed foods. They drive insulin up and chronic high levels of insulin do all sorts of damage. Fat in the diet isn't the culprit at all.

14b8422e9b449a21e06fa3349953d4f7

(220)

on August 01, 2013
at 03:12 PM

So your saying its fine to have both high carb and high fat foods as long as your not taking in to many calories and your insulin is in check

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 17, 2013
at 12:27 AM

Well, no, that's not what I said at all. Maybe you are responding to a different comment and put this on mine by mistake?

3
36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

on July 09, 2011
at 08:38 PM

So we don't know whether they did high carb or high fat but we know they didn't do both? How does that even make sense, how can we have no idea about what people did but know for sure they didn't do something. Carbs and fat exists both in somewhat large amounts in the environment if your smart like a human.

The reality is unless you're walking 13 miles a day you're not paleo. The type of conditioning you'd be subjected to in the wild from birth would turn you into an athlete. Athletes burn more fat and store more carbs. Macronutrient ratios aren't an issue to someone trying to get enough food.

Our problem in modern society is you can buy a bag of sweet potatoes and a jar of coconut oil and go to town without having to harvest food which takes a lot of physical labor. HG work like 15-20 hrs of week. That work is a full body conditioning program. They are basically athletes.

I have seen blood test results of low carb and high carb people showing high trigs. I don't think macronutrient ratios have anything to do with it.

2
2d5221fa80d04a3d8ac6f471f9feae81

(894)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:37 AM

It doesn't matter which proportions as long as you adhere to the correct foods. But when you use oils and fatty meats, it's super-easy to overdo because they are condensed calories in a small amount of food. Similar thing with dried fruit, honey, sugar... And that's what screws up the lipid panel. Also keep in mind that you need to get your glucose from somewhere to stave off cortisol(which will also ruin it), so if carbs are too low(under 100g) you'll need to bump up the protein. I say just get the most micronutrient-dense foods(lean meat, seafood, sauteed vegetables, egg yolks, tubers/bulbs, liver) and make them the 80-90% staples of your diet. You can't go wrong with that no matter the proportions and your numbers will be golden. But start pouring oils, getting fatty meats, sweets, fruit and it'll bite you back. Fructose and polyunsaturated fats will easily bury any effort.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Sensible enough.

2
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on July 09, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I don't have an answer for you from a paleo perspective but from a low carb weight loss perspective I can tell you without a doubt that when you raise carbs you lower fat or you get fat. It is well known in the LC weight loss community that this should occur and my personal experience was very much in line with this understanding. I have always attributed this phenomenon to some sort of innate knowledge on the part of the body that high carb/high fat are some sort of disaster for the body and should be avoided with the first physical signs of impending doom being the extra fat accumulation on the body.

It seems to happen rather naturally for most so it's not something that seems to receives a lot of attention or discussion. When people start to transition from weight loss phase of Atkins to pre-maintenance and maintenance they are asked to start raising carbs to prepare their bodies to live with the highest possible carb intake that maintains their weight loss. We see people almost without consciousness increasing intake of fruit and veggies, including some starch, holding protein fairly constant and decreasing fat intake. So protein remains the constant and carbohydrate and fat rise and fall in inverse proportion.

Now some interpret the need to lower fat while increasing carbs as "I must count calories" or even "restrict calories", which may in fact be the real factor at play (I honestly don't know.) What appears to take place is they start increasing carb intake notice weight loss stops or they even gain a bit, freak out occurs, then they zero in on lowering calories and the way to do that that is glaringly obvious is to use a little less butter , replace heavy cream with half and half or almond milk, etc in order to lower calories.

I most definitely live this way. I see my food life as a choice of fat or carbs. I can't maintain weight loss, and I assume good health, with both being high. At times I may increase carb intake because of more intense activity or just because I feel the need I definitely cut fat. Not low fat per se but I definitely cut back to maybe a 35-40% intake of calories from fat. If I do not I will gain weight. I tend to interpret weight gain as a sign that the body is out of balance which may mean other negative affects may also betaking place.

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on July 10, 2011
at 04:44 AM

My take on it is you don't want to combine the two. It should be one or the other. The reason is Insulin. It's the fat storage hormone. You get high insulin levels (from the carbs) while digesting a high fat, it goes directly to storage.

0
Medium avatar

on December 20, 2012
at 10:08 AM

In my experience, pick one, or the other. Better yet, alternate on different days a la Leangains. Eat carbs and fat together and you'll be inclined to store bodyfat.

An exception I've experienced is during 8-10hr, high vertical gain, grueling mountain climbs with a pack. Heartrate stays in the midrange where both can be burned, and the sheer calorie need takes care of the above confliction.

Personally on such multi day bouts, I use copious amounts of starch and coconut oil.

0
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:57 PM

I would think the key to this input/output equation hinges on your muscle weight/total weight ratio. A high muscle weight/total weight ratio reflects active muscles that rely on high carbohydrates. If you do strength training or resistance exercises, you will need glucose stored as glyocogen in your muscle cells. You will need to access this energy.

In somebody with lower muscle proportion, glucose is not as crucial to consume for fuel thus surpluses will be stored for use at a later date.

Someone like Jack who weighs 155 and benches nearly double his total body weight probably needs a combination of high fats for basal metabolism and high carbs for muscle building activities.

I'm similar.

I can consume high carbs/high fats and maintain weight while remaining in peak physical/mental condition. My weight hardly fluctuates at all.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 09, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Muscle weight/total weight ratio doesn't mean anything. Only muscle weight and amount of mitochondria determines how much energy you use. Plus exercise is a huge variable. For example a marathon runner needs way more carbs and fat than jack kronk and could weigh 120lbs. A fat guy with as much muscle as jack kronk needs more energy than jack kronk. Add in exercise and it's a guessing game. Because of his high triglycerides Jack doesn't seem like a good example His information could be diagnosed wrong though and the high trigs could be a coincidence. He probably doesn't walk enough.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 10, 2011
at 12:25 AM

I would think a long distance runner has a high proportion of muscle compared to their very light body weight. Thus both Jack and the long distance runner have muscles that can handle high carb loads.

36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

(812)

on July 10, 2011
at 03:54 AM

For example Jack Kronk is 5'7 and he weighs 155lbs, marathon runner is 5'7 and weights 120lbs. The marathon runner doesn't have that much LBM, most people have the LBM of marathon runners, what they don't have is a physiological adaptation to running in the muscle so the muscles have more mitochondria and store more glycogen. Regular weight lifting gives the same effect, but it takes 10 seconds to start using glycogen so endurance dips into glycogen more.

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 09, 2011
at 10:34 PM

I'm not sure where I fit in here. I'm eating 2 meals per day--one is protein/fat and the other is fruit. Lots of fruit (typically 2 grapefruit, a banana, 3 dates per day and sometimes more.) So, do I fit the high fat, high carb slot? I probably do, but I feel lousy if I try to shrink either meal. So far, I'm still losing weight without counting calories or worrying about portions but I still have lots to lose so that could change. So far, though, I really think it's grain and sugar that are my problem and fruit is fine for me.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:08 AM

In the paleo world you do. ALL THAT SUGAR! Dates... are you nuts!!! ;) 450 calories from fruit. Think of all the evil frooktose. Congrats on your weight loss and healthier relationship with real foods.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:25 PM

per the website wiseGEEK "Despite their sweetness, medjool dates only contain about 66 calories each. They are a good source of fiber and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. They do have a significant amount of fruit sugar, but this can make them a perfect alternative to other forms of dessert." Sometimes I eat one, sometimes 2, sometimes 3 but if I don't eat anything sweet I won't be on this lifestyle for long.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Congrats for realizing that Nance. Most the time I sit down to 1-2 lbs. I order them 22lbs at a time online. Dates are great for exercise too. I eat around 5 per hour give or take a few. When i was in AZ I would ride my bike and get them farm fresh! :) http://castlegrok.com/bard-valley-dates/

0
9fb615132bfea7d96977a21665e2ae5d

on July 09, 2011
at 07:21 PM

that makes a lot of sense.. I've heard of the tribes in PNG.. and all they eat is tubers and sometimes the catch wild pigs and they are very healthy paleo peoples.

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