Carbohydrate Restriction

Problems with handling carbohydrate are common these days. Whether low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), obesity, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, restricting carbohydrates, including quality carbs, along with adequate protein and plenty of good quality fats, can be very helpful. 

Return to Carbs & Fats

Return to Digestive Issues

General Information

Restricted Diets


Protein Requirements

Carb Restriction & Diabetes

Carb/Fat Counting  


Grain Restriction


Low carb foods

Obesity/Weight Control  

HCG Protocol 

Paleo type diets - recipes

Other carb-controlled diets

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Low-FODMAP Diet 

Ketogenic Diets 



Other Factors  

Know Your Fats  

General Information

Why We Need Carbs by Chris Masterjohn, PhD
"One of the lessons that comes across most clearly from the studies that Weston Price documented in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is that, although traditional diets all emphasized nutrient-dense foods, the specific mix of animal and plant foods was widely variable. Since it is primarily plant foods that provide carbohydrate, the carbohydrate content of traditional diets was also widely variable...  
"In fact, carbohydrate is essential to our physiology... "


Authors do not always address the issue of fat quality involved in making wise food choices (such as the misguided very low fat Ornish Diet).  Be sure you understand high quality fats before you read these sources, and  pay attention to the advice in Nourishing Traditions on soaking grains, using only healthy fats and oils and avoiding goitrogens, such as soy foods and raw cabbage.


* Overcoming Fat Phobia -
Some Basic Facts about Fat, Cholesterol and Carbohydrates


* Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

   See also Lowfat and Skim Milk Drinking Kids Are Fattest

  And yet more evidence: The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean


* Big Fat Lies with Gary Taubes - Lecture at Steven's Institute of Technology - very valuable info on why carb restriction is important for dealing with obesity and Syndrome X 
His book, Good Calories, Bad Calories - Challenging the conventional wisdom on diet, weight control, and disease, details his findings about the research covering this important yet controversial topic. 
A review   A discussion group. His newer book, Why we get fat, and what to do about it, is less technical, but still aimed at convincing the skeptics that a low carb high fat diet is a healthful option.


* The Success of Low Carb Diets -


* What's behind the carb problem?
Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects, by Ron Rosedale, MD  See also here


* Doctors Cause Diabetics to D.I.E. by Ron Rosedale, MD 

* The Diabetes Conundrum: What Physicians are Teaching You may be Killing You    Dr. Mercola


More on diabetes


The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
by Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, and Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD - - An expert guide to making the life-saving benefits of carbohydrate restriction sustainable and enjoyable.
This book provides good info on the science behind the low carb diet, and emphasizes the importance of adequate fat for the long term.  I wish they hadn't suggested artificial sweeteners that we don't recommend (Splenda and xylitol), and peanut oil should be limited because of the high omega-6 PUFA content. Also we don't recommend whey protein powder - better to use eggs from a trusted source in smoothies. A related Facebook page


* Low Carbohydrate Diets  by Joseph Brascoe, M.D.

Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer and Nearly ALL Chronic Illness



A Summary of much of this info on low carb diets


* The World's Biggest Fad Diet (and why you should probably avoid it), 1997 By Dean Esmay, a journalist type


* Common Myths About Low Carbohydrate Diets
by Anthony Colpo 


* See also The Modern Nutritional Diseases 
A very good explanation of how excess carbohydrate, poor fats, and disease are linked.


* To get low-carb right, you need to check blood sugars


Ideas about the SCIENCE of Nutrition, Obesity, Diabetes, Fats, Carbs, Protein, Hcg and other diets that HEAL our Metabolisms and make us healthy … or not.


 Some research on low carb diets, listed by the Low Carb Dietitian

Books & Web sites dealing 
with carbohydrate restriction

* Life without Bread - How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life, 2000, by Christian B. Allan, Ph.D. and Wolfgang Lutz, M.D.  


* The Schwartzbein Principle, The Truth about Weight Loss, Health and Aging By Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., Nancy Deville

This is an overview of her program and provides good basic info.

Be aware that her first book endorsed the use of soy foods and canola oil, both of which you are better off avoiding, while panning beneficial coconut oil - examples of the pervasive influence of the commercial food industry. Her newer book may have corrected these problems. Check the links for further information.


* The Saccharine Disease - Conditions Caused by the Taking of Refined Carbohydrates such as Sugar and White Flour by T. L. Cleave

(Online copy)


Digestive Issues menu


The "Paleo" Diet is a restricted diet which assumes that you have a health issues that needs healing. The original Paleo Diet (below) included assumptions about an ancient diet that didn't have much basis in science, and were not  particularly WAPF-friendly. After all, who really knows what humans were eating 100,000 years ago. Some of the recent variations on the diet make more sense and are very WAPF-friendly. They often have been developed by folks who have dealt with serious health issues that have been overcome with diet and lifestyle changes. "Paleo Diet" is a catchy phrase, so it has been picked up by many bloggers. I've listed many of them below.


Original Paleo (not really recommended):

* Paleo Diet - lots of links - but ignore the advice to use canola oil and avoid butter. He doesn't understand the value of natural grass-fed sources of fat in providing and protecting delicate omega-3 fats.  A 'Thumbs down' review at WAPF


* Neanderthin - Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body by Ray Audette  


WAPF-friendly Paleo books & websites - more or less WAPF-friendly, but can be helpful, remembering how many folks must avoid a variety of foods these days because of digestive and other chronic health issues:


Beyond Paleo# - updated series: Nine Steps to Perfect Health Chris Kresser, L.Ac, "Medicine for the 21st Century" - free registration needed to access full site
His 2013 book, Your Personal Paleo Code, is very WAPF-friendly, as is the RD nutritionist, Laura  Scheonfeld, that works with him. Laura's excellent article on bone health.  His 2014 book The Paleo Cure
# To see the whole series change the number at the end of the url


* Digestive Health With Real Food, by Aglaée Jacob, Your Paleo RD -  Lots of good info for those with digestive issues.    

Aglaée recommends The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, by Mickey Trescott.


* Sara Ballantyne, - scientist turned stay-at-home mom, who blogs about raising a paleo family. Sara's new book,  The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, 2013, is a beautiful book, very user-friendly, and highly recommended if you are dealing with health or digestive issues. Her book, The Paleo Approach Cookbook, is also helpful. 


* The Perfect Health Diet, by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet - - A different take on the Paleo Diet -  excellent book to start your path to better health. WAPF-friendly, though they don't acknowledge the value of proper soaking/preparation of nuts & grains, which may be tolerated once the gut is healed.  
Review by Chris Masterjohn  
See also Digestive Wellness, * Detoxification


* Modern Paleo Principles 


* Mark's Daily Apple - Primal Living in the Modern World


Paleo-friendly and/or gluten-free recipe sites:


* Grass Fed Girl 


* Balanced Bites - Real Food for Real People


* Pure and Simple Nourishment to blog by a young physician who found healing through nutrition


* CaveGirlEats - homesteader sharing her Real Food adventures - now it's Real Food Liz 


* nom nom paleo My daughter-in-law recommends the recipes at this site 


* PaleoLeap - includes a wealth of recipes


* The Domestic Man - - elegant gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipes.


Other recipe sites * Other meal planning helps


Other Carb-controlled diets:


* It Starts With Food  by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig - I haven't read this, but it is suggested by a colleague. The resource list is useful.  


* The Eating Academy - Customized eating solution based on real science
website of Peter Attia, MD, focusing on low carb eating, while demolishing the "science" behind the low fat diet. His cholesterol series


* The Warrior Diet (click on 'Warrior Diet' at top for more info) - a review at WAPF - 'Thumbs down' but much more WAPF friendly. Based more on intermittent fasting and whole foods rather than carb restriction.


* Breaking the Vicious Cycle - Intestinal Health Through Diet  by Elaine Gottschall, a practical book that addresses the problems of intestinal conditions, including indigestion, a "nervous stomach", chronic diarrhea or spastic colon, to the more serious and debilitating problems such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease, Diverticulitis, Celiac and Cystic Fibrosis. The book provides an alternative way to help combat digestive disorders using dietary changes - with a diet called the "Specific Carbohydrate Diet," explained at
Also here: , 


* Low-FODMAP Diet  
FODMAPs are easily fermentable short-chain carbohydrates that could be contributing to irritable bowel disease.   
"In people with FODMAPs intolerance, certain carbohydrates can become too fermentable, resulting in gas, bloating, pain, and poor digestion, as well as proliferation of unwanted pathogenic bacteria."

Dr. Barbara Bolen on the Low-FODMAP Diet:


Jacob and Ballantyne also address the FODMAP issuel


Books & Articles Emphasizing 
Restriction of Grains


* Low Grain Guide To Health by Dr. Joseph Mercola


* Dr. Mercola on Nutritional Typing (you do have to register and sign in)


* What's With Wheat? - a movie


* The No-Grain Diet

by Dr. Joseph Mercola & Alison Rose Levy

And my comments on this book.


* Dr. Mercola's Total Health & Cookbook Program 150 Delicious Grain-Free Recipes & Proven Metabolic Type Plan to Prevent Disease, Optimize Weight and Live Longer”


* DANGEROUS GRAINS - Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous to Your Health, 2002, by James Braly, M.D. and Ron Hoggan, M.A.

Dangerous Grains turns the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid upside down by exposing the myriad health risks posed by  gluten grains (wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale). The authors, leading experts in the field of food allergies and celiac disease, present compelling evidence that our grain-centered diet is to blame for a host of chronic illnesses. Largely misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed, these disorders can be prevented and reversed by the useful program outlined in this important new book.  or


* More on digestive disorders 

* Gluten-free Cooking


Carb Restriction and Diabetes

See also Insulin

* Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution 
by Richard K. Bernstein. M.D.
Dr. Bernstein has Type 1 Diabetes, who finally controlled his diabetes well with a careful balancing of insulin and carb intake, and in the process corrected most of the complications that had begun to plague him. When the medical profession wouldn't listen to what he had learned he became an M.D.  The book was a revelation to me, a retired dietitian, who had given the wrong advice for years, until I retired and started reading alternate sources. I had worked as a diabetes educator and with a diabetes specialist, but we didn't have a clue! The book makes sense of the many things we struggled with in dealing with diabetes. A shortcoming of the book is the use of soy flour in recipes and a lack of emphasis on getting adequate healthy fats, so be sure you understand high quality fats when you read the book. The Web site has articles by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, so his understanding of the importance of fat quality may have increased since the book came out.
Dr. Bernstein's forum 
Here's something about Bernstein's new book - and more: 

Interestingly, you can read excerpts of the book on-line at so he really is trying to educate, and not just make money off his book. At almost 500 pages, I'd much rather study the hard copy which includes recipes, and which I bought after I read the library copy. 

See also this article on Insulin and books on Carb Restriction


* Second Opinions, by Barry Groves, PhD 


* Treating Diabetes: Practical Advice for Combating a Modern Epidemic, by Tom Cowen, M.D. - Also here at Dr. Cowen's website - his Ask the Doctor Columns.


Dr. Mercola on Diabetes  


Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction in the Management of Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome.  


A fascinating website documenting the battle between conventional RD's and someone who overcame his diabetes on a low carb high fat diet, such as that recommended by the above health professionals. His meal plan.


Weight Reduction/Control

Calorie Focus Called Counterproductive
Incisive paper explains a growing consensus on food choices for weight control

Matt Stone advocated the HED - High Everything Diet for 30 days to restore low body temp to normal and promote healing and weight loss - involves eating lots of high quality whole foods, including starches, natural fats, and adequate, not excessive protein, plenty of rest, and limited exercise, no refined carbs, sugar or fructose (except for limited whole fruit) and very limited omega-6 oils. 

Books - Some good weight control books that explain the value of good fats in controlling weight:


*Eat Fat, Lose Fat, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig 


*The Liberation Diet by Kevin Brown &  Annette Presley, RD  Click on "About the authors" for links to their individual websites. See also 


* Primal Body-Primal Mind - Empower your total health the way nature intended (...and didn't), by Nora Gedgaudas 
A very comprehensive WAPF-friendly look at a healthy way of eating that is low in carbs.


The Obesity Epidemic, by Zoë Harcombe * review


Other considerations in obesity:


The politics of obesity 


Healing by Bee - low carb helps on the Web 

Intermittent Fasting to promote fat burning - grazing throughout the day is counterproductive

The intriguing  connection between fiber, gut microbes, and obesity/metabolic syndrome


Broth is of value  

Children & healthy Eating


*Mastering Leptin - Your Guide to Permanent Weight Loss, by Byron Richards, CCN - 
Low carb from the point of view of this important hormone and related hormones.


*The 6-Week Cure for Middle-Aged Middle  by Mary Dan Eades, MD, and Michael Eades, MD - 
which presents a different tack on obesity in middle-aged, and may be a way to overcome the leptin resistance discussed in Mastering Leptin.

They are aiming at getting rid of the visceral fat and fat that has infiltrated the liver 

They emphasize the importance of getting adequate protein, esp. the branched chain amino acids, and most particularly leucine, along with quality saturated fat. There are some fabulous sounding low carb recipes, though I'm not keen on the Splenda they utilize (or the microwave) - but at least they say avoid aspartame and they don't really recommend soy, but mention it for the sake of vegans who are trying to follow the diet - which a pretty difficult as they say!


* Protein Power - The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health-in Just Weeks!  by Michael Eades, MD  


* Arguments In Favor Of Ketogenic Diets - please ignore the all too conventional misinformation about saturated fat and cholesterol in this otherwise insightful analysis.


* - Website of Maria Emmerich, author of Ketogenic Cooking and other keto-related books. She does like grass-fed meat and bone broth, but uses some strange ingredients that are not WAPF friendly. Be aware that such a very low carb diet does not suit everyone. See Why We Need Carbs 


* The HCG Protocol  - In an age when some people are so desperate to lose weight, they resort to gastric bypass and related surgeries, which have become a profitable business with less than satisfying results, I need to mention a possible, far healthier alternative - the HCG Protocol, based on Pounds and Inches, a New Approach to Obesity, by A.T.W. Simeons, MD. (Another copy of the book) This lecture by our local cardiologist, Dr. James Roberts, explains the Protocol in detail, and why he came to embrace this technique. The HCG Protocol mimics pregnancy, when the body burns fats to provide energy to the fetus even if the woman doesn't eat, overcoming the typical starvation response to the calorie restriction recommended for weight loss. Here's Dr. Mayer Eisenstein's enthusiastic video on the HCG Protocol - his website


*Public Policy and Obesity


*Food Fight, The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It


*Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes, has very helpful info on successful weight loss, and why the typical recommendation to eat less and exercise more doesn't work very well.

*A Yahoo discussion group discussing Good  Calories, Bad Calories 


Also Weight Loss on a Traditional Diet:


*The Biggest Gainer - interesting story from Kat James of gaining health while losing weight.


*What to do When the Atkins Diet Fails You ... and Why it Usually Does
(It's worth it to register with the site to see this.)


* - This is a commercial program, but could be very useful if you need help with weight control. It does emphasize real food and good quality fats.


*See General Info above on carb restriction


Other Factors in Weight Control


*Exercise is a consideration in weight control. Too much can be a problem. See Dr. Al Sear's PACE program, for a better approach:
See also   X


* Fat Quality - Essential fatty acids are important for weight control, but they must be in proper balance. The typical American diet is too high in omega-6 essential fats, so this merits attention in choosing you food. More on essential fats


*Supplements that could be helpful for weight control, when combined with a healthy diet:


*Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with obesity - see The Miracle of Vitamin D - find "The Battle of the Bulge" about a quarter of the way down the page. More on Vitamin D

*Magnesium deficiency is common - if you increase your vitamin D levels your body needs more magnesiumMore on Magnesium

* TonaLean - incorporating conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), green tea extract, and chromium to boost fat burning.

*FucoThin - with fucoxanthin, a unique seaweed product that boosts fat burning.

*Primal Lean with fucoxanthin and an West African herb, called irvingia gabonensis, that restores your body's appetite signal network

* Some doctors are beginning to use HCG hormone combined with a very low calorie diet to treat stubborn obesity.  See Dr. James Robert's position on this. Leptin resistance can explain why drastic measures may be needed.  And here is the book that started it all Pounds and Inches by A.T.W. Simeons, M.D. - interesting reading!


* Carb Counting

Keeping track of your carb/fat intake, if you'd like to


* Protein 

Protein is often emphasized on a many diets, but be aware that too much protein can also be a problem. That's why including good fats in the diet is so important - They make up the balance of calories on a low carb, moderate protein diet, calories that keep you happy and satisfied without overeating. Protein quality is also an issue. 


Protein requirements - Restricting carbohydrates does not mean high protein 
Are You Sabotaging Your Health and Longevity by Eating Too Much Protein? 
Dr. Mercola offers good advice here on why a "High Protein diet" is not healthy. I don't count my proteins, as Dr. M suggests, as it is too complicated to figure out the protein content of my homemade nutty granola, or my homemade soup or stir fry, etc. But if you are having a good sized portion of a protein food at three meals a day, it's probably more than you need. Protein quality is also important!


* Protein powders are often recommended, but can create problems:

  • Protein powders deplete the body of vitamin A, because A is needed to process protein

  • The proteins are denatured by processing, which means they don't function as well in the body

  • Lots of free glutamic acid is formed by processing, which makes these somewhat addictive for some people

More on protein powders here: