Dietitians believe in the power of food to enhance lives and improve health. Through individualized one-on-one counselling, the dietitian will learn about your current lifestyle, diet and your personal nutrition goals. Based on this information, she will work with you using a low carbohydrate healthy fat approach, to design a plan of action that is customized to best meet your needs. You will be given tools to help you work toward your nutrition goals. Ongoing follow-up sessions will build on your knowledge, help you work through barriers and challenges that you may encounter along the way, and provide continued support to meet your health goal needs.
What is a low carbohydrate healthy fat diet
A low carbohydrate healthy fat diet is one that limits carbohydrates primarily found in sugary beverages and foods, pasta, grains, potatoes and fruit. Instead of eating carbs you eat whole foods including natural proteins, fats and vegetables.
Why follow a low carbohydrate healthy fat lifestyle?
One in five Canadians suffers from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is when you have 3 or more of the following: abdominal obesity, elevated fasting glucose, hypertension, low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. This increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is more prevalent in people with spinal cord injury due to loss of mobility and severe muscle atrophy, weight gain, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates will result in improved insulin resistance and metabolic health. Low carb diets have many other potential benefits proven by science and supported by clinical experience. These include reversal of type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, weight loss and improved symptoms of IBS. Indigestion, reflux and other digestive issues may also improve.
In the referenced article and podcast below, physiatrist Dr. House who has a spinal cord injury himself, explains how he has experienced the benefits of a low carbohydrate lifestyle and recommends it to his patients with spinal cord injuries:
Video podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfcovDT9Kmc
For individuals with spinal cord injury, simply reducing calorie intake is not always sufficient for weight loss due to many changes in their metabolism. Energy expenditure is also different in individuals with spinal cord injury so exercising more also will not necessarily contribute significantly to weight loss. See article" Energy Expenditure as a Function of Activity Level After Spinal Cord Injury: The Need for Tetraplegia-Specific Energy Balance Guidelines "
It is fairly common for individuals to experience weight gain following their injuries. There are numerous medical complications that can arise due to weight gain, but it can also lead to a decrease in function along with a resulting increase in the level of personal care required. In addition, this may also mean that there is a need for new equipment to accommodate the weight gain, and the larger equipment can often lead to difficulties with environmental accessibility. It might become more difficult to get out and enjoy the things you used to. We hope to be able to move towards changing this and to assist with health promotion in order to keep you healthy and happy and functioning to your optimal capabilities for as long as possible.