T Nation

Looking to Create a Low-Carb Diet



First post on here so be kind...!!!

I'm a 29yo male who suffers from an inherit metabolic condition called Phenylketonuria (PKU) which means that my liver lacks sufficient activity in the enzyme which breaks down the essential amino acid phenylalanine.

This means that I am on a medically monitored low protein diet to control my protein intake - as essential amino acids can't be separated when eating food I have to limit all protein rich food in my diet.

As a result of this my diet is dominated by carbs. I am limited to 20 grammes of protein per day from natural foodstuffs. To supplement this and provide me with sufficient vitamins and minerals which I would be lacking I take a supplement which also provides me with dosages of the remaining proteins which my liver can tolerate.

So in total, per day I would consume about 20g of natural protein plus 100g of protein supplements (protein minus the amino acid phenylalanine). This give me a total daily protein intake of around 120g - I am 5 foot six and weigh roughly 130lbs.

However, I would like to balance my diet to reduce my carb intake - after reading the article on here with Dr Jeff Volek entitled: The New Low-Carb Guru An interview with Dr. Jeff Volek.

I believe a low carb diet would be of benefit to me, but as I am on a low protein diet I am stumped as to how I will achieve this goal.

I would like to get my carb intake down to about 35% - 40% of my daily intake can anyone on here offer me some advice and hints as to how I can do this?





Welcome to T-Nation..!

Honestly, it sounds like you should be asking your doctor, or a dietitian these questions.

Good Luck..!



I agree and if anything just make wise carb choice like sweet taters instead of white, whole grain instead of white bread, fruit veggies. etc etc

Look at supplementing higher amounts of amino acids that you can handle. Youd be a perfect canidate to highly supplement BCAA's and hey even glutamine as you have a low pro diet



As has been already suggested, you should speak to a professional since your situation is sensitive. I would recommend carefully searching out a knowledgable doctor though. Especially if you have atheletic aspirations (which I presume you do, being here at T-Nation), you need someone that is well versed in the realities of nutrition, not the guy that is going to give you a cookie cutter diet based on whatever the agreed upon treatment plan is for your condition.

You might even consider, if you can afford it, to have a consultation with one of the authors who contribute to this website. Many of them have clients that fit into the whole spectrum, from beginners to world class atheletes to special medical cases like yours. Many also will do one time consultations over the phone which may be all you need in this case to get an idea where to go from here.

Also, an aside, and something to consider...

Some primitive cultures ate fairly high fat diets. I believe I have read the Inuit people ate somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-80% fat traditionally. I am not suggesting this will definately work for you, but in lieu of eating higher protein you may be able to up your energy by increasing fat more than you would tend to think about (or more than the standard American doctor might prescribe).


With someone in your condition, professional advice is really the way to go, however it's hard to go wrong with making better QUALITY choices. Take a look at the carbs & fat you're ingesting now, and make an effort consume the best ones you can. Any foods with sugar or white flour should be cut at the very least. A regimen of healthy fats would also be beneficial.