I had trialed Lachlan on a couple of different ‘diet’ approaches* in the hopes that we could manage his ADHD symptoms without medication. Unfortunately, it hadn’t made any difference and I was still stuck between thinking “he’s just a boy” and “there’s got to be something causing this behaviour”. It was doing my head in! Then I came across the “bring back the fat” message and wondered if LCHF may hold the answers.
The Fat Revolution
Christine Cronau’s “bring back the fat” message popped up in my Facebook news feed. I browsed her website and Facebook posts with enthusiasm. I ordered her book and read it from cover to cover. I had decided that this would be a healthy lifestyle change for my family and we started eating the LCHF (low carb, high fat) kind of way. I didn’t want to admit it at the time but I was doing it for Lachie, hoping that this time I’d see some improvement.
The debate about grains (can we safely exclude a whole food group?) and fats (will too much fat cause heart disease?) got me really fired up! I think I may have gotten a little brainwashed by the book! Discussions with my husband led to me saying “but in the book…” quite a lot. He challenged everything that I said, not necessarily because he disagreed, but because he was illustrating a point. I shouldn’t believe it just because I read it in the book. It was at this point that the random thoughts that I’d had about studying Nutrition finally became a goal that I just had to achieve! It seemed that there was only one way to finally learn about how our bodies work and what fuel they require… and maybe then I might understand what was going on with Lachie!** I am now studying a Bachelor of Medical Science (Nutrition) which I enjoy so much.
Following the LCHF way of eating also prompted me to start thinking more about my own health. During the 2 months that we consumed no grains & increased our intake of healthy fats, I almost never heard my digestive tract (you know, there was no ugly gurgling noises) & rarely passed wind! An ache that had started in my hip disappeared. Coincidence? I thought not. During the process of finding a way to manage Lachlan’s ADHD symptoms, I was learning so much about my own health. I was excited to study Nutrition, so that I could understand things at a deeper level and improve the health of not just my family, but others as well.
Did it help with ADHD?
We all quite enjoyed eating the LCHF way, but there was still no change with Lachlan’s behaviour. Unfortunately, our financial circumstances at the time also made it difficult to maintain. So, I was forced to admit defeat and reign it in after just 2 months.
It was unable to find any research done on a the possibility of managing ADHD with a LCHF diet. But if you are interested in reading about Professor Tim Noake’s opinion, check out this Health24 article.
My thoughts on LCHF now
A 2012 study found that “low-carbohydrate diets are at least as effective as low-fat diets at reducing weight and improving metabolic risk factors”. Additionally, the CSIRO supports the use of a low carbohydrate diet for diabetes control.
I personally think that any diet that focuses on wholefoods, rather than processed, is a good one. How low we drop the carbs and up the fats though… I’m just not sure we need to be LCHF. Here’s an interesting take on it by The Paleo Mom, Dr Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. I think I share her thoughts:
“I don’t care how much of your plate is filled with protein or vegetables and fruits or quality fats. I do care that you are eating plenty of vegetables (for the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) and enough protein (0.75 grams per kilogram of lean body mass, distributed throughout the day, at the very minimum). And I do care that your dietary fat comes from good-quality sources. Other than that, I want you to eat what makes you happy and put your calculator away.” Read more here.
Have you tried LCHF? Or maybe your journey has directed a new career path too? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
**Thankfully we went back to the Naturopath and we are now seeing results.