In the weeks leading up to the holidays, Costco always brings in a wide selection of cookbooks. This past October, we saw the usual plethora of gorgeous cookbooks that focused on baking, desserts, regional cuisines, and techniques. It was heartening to note that several Paleo cookbooks had joined the collection. The Paleo movement is several steps in the right direction–no processed foods, no grains, no legumes. It has made remarkable inroads into the general discussion about diet and we heartily support many of its tenets. However, it is important to remember that the Paleo diet is not necessarily low in carbohydrate. In Paleo recipes, we see far too much emphasis placed on recreating familiar favorites, especially sweet things. This is usually accomplished by replacing processed white sugar and HFCS with dried fruit, honey, or maple syrup–all still concentrated sugars. This is truly unfortunate because, as we see it, the root of our metabolic disorder is our habit of ignoring our basic paleolithic physiology. Humans are designed to use fat as their primary fuel.
Three times a day, plus several snacks, people around the world stoke with carbohydrate. This chronic consumption of carbohydrate interferes with the proper use of fats by “locking the door” to their access, so to speak. Glucose itself is not benign. This molecule is highly damaging to our tissues and so the body must use it immediately by burning it for fuel (getting out of our bloodstream) or storing it away for the future in glycogen, which only amounts to about 120g, and in unlimited amounts as fat in adipose tissue. Keep in mind that the latter cannot be utilized as fuel as long as we keep eating carbohydrate.
Fructose is unique in that our cells are unable to burn it for energy. Fructose, which is the sugar in fruit and the other half of table sugar (sucrose) and corn syrup (HFCS), must go to the liver to be processed, where it is turned into triglycerides–fat–and transported to the adipose tissue. Nor can we burn protein for fuel directly. These amino acids may be converted by the liver, when necessary, into glucose. This process is called gluconeogenesis. Essentially, there are only two sources of fuel for our cells–fats and glucose. Fats are the most efficient, the most stable. As Dr Ron Rosedale says, “If you are a fat burner, you will be healthy. If you’re a sugar burner, you’re not. It’s as simple as that.”
While I examined the glossy covers displayed atop the stacks of cookbooks that day in Costco, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. My eyes zeroed in on a title whose cover was buried beneath a pile of yet another Paleo cookbook. The Low Carb High Fat Cookbook. ♥ Wow ♥ Imagine my shock, surprise, and delight at discovering this gem! Written by Sten Stur Skaldeman, a Swede who adopted LCHF a dozen years ago and lost a great deal of weight, this is an eye-popping collection of 100 beautifully photographed recipes that are sure to convince you that this lifestyle is filled with a scrumptious variety of foods. If you happen to believe that a low-carb lifestyle is in any way boring or that a person cannot possibly hope to stick with it for any significant period of time, this book may inspire you to change your mind. The stylish presentation of each recipe is gorgeous and mouthwatering. Even though we are longtime practitioners of LCHF, a copy went home with us that day. Before leaving, I moved the remaining copies of this cookbook to the top so they could be seen! Hopefully, many more were sold. We have been recommending Sten’s book ever since.
May all your meals be deliciously LCHF,
9ah & Clark