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ou can read detailed discussions of these studies and more, as well as some others that throw light on why many people do have problems with low carb diets, in my new book, Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets
One Important WarningWhen I went back and carefully reread the low carb research discussed on this page while working on my new book I found some new details, and a couple longer lasting studies that pointed up an important fact that did not come out in studies that lasted a year or less.
What they have to teach us is this: Low carb diets are very healthy as long as they are really low carb. But the bad news is that if your carbohydrate intake starts to rise over 120 grams per day, your diets will become very unhealthy unless you cut back on fat. A high fat intake is only healthy with a truly low carb diet.
The studies that convinced doctors in the 1970s that low carb diets were dangerous were all studies of people eating "low carb" diets of 150 grams of carbohydrate a day or more. And more recent research suggests that those diets are just as unhealthy now as they were then.
If you can control your blood sugar with a diet that cuts carbs to a level nearer 150 grams a day, as opposed to 100 grams a day, keep your fats to 30% of all calories and you'll be fine.
When studies attacking low carb diets involve human subjects, they often draw their conclusions from the analysis of food questionnaires. An example are studies that claim that eating meat leads to terrible health outcomes. What these studies don't do, is ask people what they ate with their meat, which is often supersized fries, soda, and a huge, sugary dessert. They also don't ask them what exactly they meant by "meat." Pink slime burgers infused with a cocktail of powerful chemicals, including MSG, consumed at fast food outlets are very different in their nutritional impact than organic meats or artisanal cheeses served with fresh vegetables. Cutting carbs does not make chemical-laced low quality food healthy, so if you cut your carbs, do what you can to improve the quality of the foods you eat.