the low carb thing has actually been a huge help to me and i have had no side effects or anything - agree it may not be for all etc etc.
having tried for three years to shift weight off my ex rugby player's frame without success, i gave my personal version of low carb a spin for 5 weeks. not lunacy, but just really watching out on the pots, rice, pasta, bread, etc. i reckoned that whilst it ain't right for a serious runner, my 25 miles a week wasn't in that realm.
hey presto - in 5 weeks i lost nearly a stone, dropped a size in clothes, running got easier, HR dropped to sensible levels, re-discovered motivation and am now going great guns (down another couple of pounds since last post),
it really is the best thing that happened to me in the last three years and has put me in a place to create a good balanced diet togther with a decent amount of exercise (which i can now enjoy!!)
like you - for three years, it sounded a nonsense diet to me for a runner, but in just 5 weeks it has been a big kick start to getting back to another sub 4 marathon in april (hopes hopes!!)