His experimentation began in the early ’90s and, to his great surprise, his low-carb experiment proved to be anything but harmful. This fueled his passion for understanding how humans respond to diets that are very low in carbohydrates, and led him to continue his education.
He has now spent the last 15 years conducting research in this area, and the outcomes from most experiments have been very encouraging.
“The science continues to point in the direction that there are a lot of applications for these diets for a large number of people.
We’re still sorting out a lot of the details, but clearly we need to change the way we feed Americans and the way we think about nutrition in order to reverse … obesity and diabetes.”
He’s also done research on low- and non-fiber carb diets and athletic performance, and here too results have proved quite positive — despite running counter to everything he was taught about diet and performance in school, and in most of the scientific literature as well.
“It’s been an interesting journey to say the least …The things I was reading, the things I was taught were not really based on a lot of science, and were a lot of half-truths and misinformation, which still persist today,” he notes.
Is Your Diet Driving Your Metabolism in the Right Direction?
Most of the food (fuel) people eat these days is moving their metabolism in the wrong direction. The Westernized diet constantly biases you toward using more nonfiber carbs for fuel.
Most Americans are primarily burning glucose as their primary fuel, which actually inhibits their body’s ability to access and burn body fat.
Healthy fat, meanwhile, is a far preferable sort of fuel, as it burns far more efficiently than carbs. As noted by Volek, humans evolved to primarily burn fat as fuel — not carbs — and yet that’s not how we’re feeding our bodies.
“As a result, we’re running into a lot of metabolic problems, because we’re constantly inhibiting our body’s ability to burn fuel that we evolved to burn,”he says.
We all have to eat; we need fuel to live. Without generating ATP you cannot survive at all. The question is how to do that efficiently, without generating harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can destroy your mitochondria and contribute to disease?
It’s all about keeping your mitochondria healthy, and low-carb, high-fat diets tend to do that far more effectively than high-carb, low-fat diets.
Healthy Fat Is a ‘Cleaner’ Burning Fuel
An indirect measurement included in one of Volek’s books shows that when people burn fat as their primary fuel, their respiratory quotient can go down as low as 0.7 as opposed to 1, which suggests they’re generating less carbon dioxide.
Regardless of the fuel your body burns, you’re going to generate carbon dioxide and water. But when you burn fat, you generate 30 percent less carbon dioxide, suggesting it’s a lot “cleaner” fuel.
“To use the term ‘clean,’ that’s kind of a provocative term, but I think it is an appropriate one because … there’s a lot of ‘exhaust’ associated with burning carbs for fuel … free radicals, reactive oxygen species … That contributes to the metabolic problems we’re seeing in this country.”
Also, the most efficient way to train your body to use fat for fuel is to remove some of the sugars and starches from your diet. According to Volek, that’s true for everyone, whether you’re an elite athlete or a sedentary diabetic.
Read the rest here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/31/high-fat-low-carb-diet-benefits.aspx