I am writing my next book and decided to make it on the topic of weight. Why, well you will have to read the book when it comes out. For now though I felt compelled to blog on something I discovered in my research and post something about it now: There seems to be a direct connection to the fear of eating fats (saturated) and the increase in our waistlines. This can be traced back to 1977 when the new guidelines came out that encouraged us to reduce saturated fats from our daily diet. This meant very lean cuts of meats, no full-fat dairy, eggs, etc. and replaced these with shortening, margarine, processed vegetable oils and the protein was replaced with processed foods that were high in starches, sugars and salt. Below are the suggestions made:
- Increase carbohydrate intake to 55 to 60 percent of calories
- Decrease dietary fat intake to no more than 30 percent of calories, with a reduction in intake of saturated fat, and recommended approximately equivalent distributions among saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats to meet the 30 percent target
- Decrease cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day
- Decrease sugar intake to 15 percent of calories
- Decrease salt intake to 3 g per day
It just so happens that the incidence in Obesity began to rise around the same time. Studies have now shown that a low fat diet does not decrease weight, risk for heart attack, cancer or diabetes. If anything, we are now learning that a low fat diet could be one of the worst diets to follow.
So, why don’t low fat diets work?
- Low fat diets promote reducing/eliminating saturated fat which are actually healthy for you and a great source of energy.
- Low fat diets promote the use of vegetable oils which increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the blood stream is a major contributing factor for an increased risk of heart disease.
- Avoiding animal proteins because of saturated fat concerns lead to us consuming less protein in general. Protein helps with both weight loss and giving you a feeling of being full, i.e. less cravings.
I guess the bottom line here is that the guidelines from almost 40 years ago pointed us in the wrong direction. Going low-fat and increasing carbs had a very negative impact on our health in too many ways to count. It opened the door for us to eat more pasta, breads, potatoes, and fried foods, rice and avoid those foods that would provide satiety, burn calories and promote health. Usually foods that are low fat also have other things added to them to make up for the missing fat such as sugar, salt and other chemicals or additives that aren’t natural at all.
So what diet is right? More and more research is pointing to a low-carb diet. Low carb diets not only help with weight loss but also improve most of the major risk factors that a low-fat diet causes. Low carb means eating more veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish and such…while avoiding sugar and starches as much as possible. Since this doesn’t seem to be an easy transition for most (the elimination of sugar and starches), I suggest using dietary supplements such as Prenulin, gymnema and even chromium by itself for sugar control support. As for the starch lovers (pasta meals, chips for snacks, breads, French fries, potatoes in general and even rice; make sure you take Phase 2 (a scientifically researched white kidney bean extract) prior to all meals and snacks that contain starches.