Low Carb - High Fat Dietitian?
You may wonder why a Registered Dietitian would make a choice to part with both the federal government and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the governing body for Dietitians in the U.S.). If you had told me a year ago that I would be promoting a low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) lifestyle I would have told you that you were nuts.
I had been eating a low-fat, vegetarian diet for over 10 years and recommended the same for my clients. I was practicing what I preached. Lots of whole grains, low-fat dairy, occasional fish, fruits, and vegetables were the basis of my diet. Unfortunately the diet recommendations I was living by and teaching, re-enforced by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, were not helping me or my clients lose weight or improve our overall health. One of the biggest factors that brought me to study nutrition was watching my grandfather struggle with diabetes and its complications which ultimately ended his life. I wanted to help others find a healthier way and wound up feeling helpless to give them any solid advice. This was so discouraging for me that I had removed myself from counseling clients.
As a part of my own exploration of how to keep from weight cycling, I stumbled upon the low carb high fat diets recommended as early as 1863 by William Banting. This was the diet that all of my college professors had demonized as a dangerous, fad diet that was then being promoted by the pioneer Dr. Robert Atkins. I actually had the opportunity in grad school to be a part of a clinical trial based on of the South Beach Diet in a small diabetes center and foolishly refused as I believed the propaganda that this diet was unsafe.
I spent several months reading current research and listening to doctors and other practitioners who currently successfully promote the LCHF lifestyle in their practice. Then I decided to take the plunge for myself. I went from a vegetarian, low fat diet to one rich in fat, moderate in protein and very low in carbohydrate (from leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables). For me it was like flipping a switch. My digestive issues improved almost overnight, my weight loss was maintained, I felt great, and was able to eat to satiety without getting "hangry" (that hungry/angry unhappy feeling when you are restricting calories). So, for me, LCHF is the lifestyle that I live and highly recommend to everyone (with very few exceptions). Yes, they may come looking for my RD credentials (not really, but LCHF RDs are not popular with the "Academy"), but I am firm in my position as a low carb high fat dietitian.