From Dr. Mercola:
Jeff Volek, Ph.D., and registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, has done enormous work in the field of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, investigating how it affects human health and athletic performance.
Volek has published many scientific articles as well as several books, including “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” and “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.”
Both of these books were co-authored with Dr. Stephen Phinney, a physician and true pioneer in this field, who has studied low-carb diets even longer than Volek.
Starting out as a dietician, Volek was taught that low-fat diets were healthy and that saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided. But in working with diabetics, he kept feeling that something was “off.” Why should diabetics eat so many carbs?
“In essence, it drove me to want to understand metabolism and nutrition at a much deeper level,” he says.
“I was also into self-experimentation … I was at the time into very low-fat diets, thinking that was how I would optimize my own health. But I decided to experiment with a very low-carb diet.”
Low-Carb Diets Can Benefit Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike
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.