Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets

I read a great article on the Wall Street Journal that inspired this post.

Over the last 20 years marketers and food manufactures have coaxed consumers into believing that the cause of rising obesity rates is due to our surplus fat intake. Consumers make choices they believe are healthy based on “healthy labels” when in fact they are not.We’re bombarded with supposedly guilt-free options: baked potato chips, fat-free ice cream, low-fat candies, which people think are healthy options because they are marketed as “low-fat” or “natural”. Yes, a high amount of saturated fat and trans fat is not good, but healthy fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect and are essential to a healthy/well-balanced diet.

Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.

Fact: Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Myth: Fat-free means healthy.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

In recent years people have started to figure out that fat may not be main contributor to rising obesity rates, but a surplus of processed carbohydrates may actually be at the forefront of our problems. Cue, the “low-carb” diets where consumers restrict carb intake to under 100g/day. A recent article published by the Wall Street Journal claims that “A diet based on healthy carbohydrates—rather than a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet—offers the best chance of keeping weight off without bringing unwanted side effects”… and I couldn’t agree more.

The Study

Goal:  The study was designed to look at the impact of the three diets on measures of energy expenditure, in addition to assessing hormones, fat levels in the blood and other health markers.

  • Participants followed a low glycemic food plan that focused on  fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. The Study explains while people who follow a low-carb diet also lose weight effectively, they have trouble keeping it off and encounter unwanted side effects.
  • Participants were placed on one of three diets for a month: a low-fat diet limiting fats to 20% of total calories; a low-carbohydrate diet modeled on the Atkins diet, limiting carbohydrate intake to 10% of total calories; and a low-glycemic-index diet, which contained 40% of total calories from carbohydrates, 40% from fats and 20% from protein. Participants were then switched to the other two diets during two additional four-week periods.

Results

  • “The low-fat diet had the worst effect” on energy expenditure, Dr. Ludwig said. Participants on that diet also had increases in triglycerides, a type of fat, and lower levels of so-called good cholesterol. “We should avoid severely restricting any major nutrient and focus on the quality of the nutrient,”
  • The low-carb diet had the biggest boost in total energy expenditure, burning about 300 calories more per day than those on the low-fat diet—about the same as an hour of moderate exercise. But that bump came at a cost: increases in cortisol, a stress hormone, and a measure of inflammation called CRP, which can raise the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
  • Those on the low-glycemic-index diet burned about 150 calories a day more than those on the low-fat diet without any negative impacts on cholesterol levels or various hormones, making it the ideal diet, Dr. Ludwig said. The glycemic index measures the impact of carbohydrates on blood-sugar levels.

Conclusion and Takeaway

A balanced diet filled with healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates is ideal for loosing weight and keeping it off. Yes a low-carb diet can be effective, but you may develop other health risks, suffer from low energy levels, and risk  putting weight back on. Carbohydrates are used by our body as energy that can help sustain an efficient and worth-while workout. If your workout is jeopardized due to an nonavailability of adequate energy levels from carbohydrates then your exercise goals are compromised. Just to clarify; I am not advocating people go load up on pasta, breads, cereals, and other processed carbs. The key is to make sure the carbohydrates you do consume all come with a healthy dose of fiber and protein with a low glycemic index from things like fruit, vegetables, minimally processed oats and whole grains.

My Favorite Carb Sources

Quinoa

Steel Cut Oats

Black Beans

Source:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490943279845790.html?mod=e2tw

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
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An Oatmeal Recipe You Will Love

An Oatmeal Recipe You Will Love

Studies have shown that regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450%!

This week’s blog can be found at http://www.builtlean.com/. This is another great health-orientated website and one that I will be writing for once a month. My article is the headline article on the homepage.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have questions or comments.

Kevin

The 10 Commandments of Good Nutrition

The 10 Commandments of Good Nutrition; According to Katrina Evans.

This week I had a guest blogger, Katrina Evans, write an article in order to provide readers with a different vantage point of certain health and nutrition points that are vital to a healthy lifestyle. This is important in understanding that not everyone is going to agree on every aspect of health, nutrition, and exercise. For example, Katrina lists “no red meat” as commandment #4. As an athlete, I would say 1-2 servings of red meat a week is actually beneficial because the combination of iron, zinc, and amino acid complex. While small details like this will surface in some research, the foundation and guidelines in the most effective programs are generally the same. Thanks again Katrina.

Good nutrition and activity are both key to maintaining a healthy life. Keeping a balanced diet is important in weight control and can provide energy to stay productive. Not only that, but it can also greatly affect emotional and mental health, providing a balance in most areas of life. Regular exercise can even prevent conditions and disabilities like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even certain types of lung cancer.

With all the facts about the links among nutrition, fitness, and good health, there is no excuse to have an unhealthy diet or inactive lifestyle. Whether it’s walking two miles a day or following work-out videos, a good diet will always make the difference in any workout plan. Keeping these key concepts about nutrition in mind while devising a custom diet plan is a great starting point towards a healthier lifestyle:

1. Eat vegetables: Nobody wants to listen to their mom, but dark greens, garlic and mushrooms are full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that not only boost your immune system, but have the right fire power that slows or even prevents the development of cancer.

Diet Tips

2. Eat fruits: Fruits are delicious, sweet and refreshing. By loading up on fruits instead of pastries or baked goods, dieters can feel better about themselves while enjoying a sweet treat. Fruits like blueberries and grapes are also linked to the prevention of cell damage caused by cancer.

 3. Switch to whole grains: Whole grains are full of antioxidants and fiber which is a dieter’s best friend normalizing bowel integrity and health while optimizing weight loss as well.

4. No red meats: Red meats, as delicious as they can be, are loaded with saturated fat and “bad” cholesterol offering no fiber.

5. Eat it raw: Raw foods offer more antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber than they do when cooked, the same kinds of antioxidants found to prevent colon cancer.

6. Drink water: Drinking just eight cups of water is not as hard as it seems. Substituting other drinks with water will cleanse the body, replenish organs, and keep the immune system at its best. according to Discovery News, scientists found that obese dieters who drank two cups of water before each meal lost 5 pounds more than a group of dieters who didn’t increase their water intake.

7. Enjoy immune-boosting spices: Spices like garlic, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, basil, cilantro, curry powder and parsley are not only terrific ways to dress up healthy ingredients but are also full of anti-oxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties that boost the immune system.

 8. Don’t burn it: Recently, carcinogens in overcooked meat made it to the National Toxicology Program list of potential cancer causers from ScienceNews.com so, watch out!

 9. Stop overeating: By drinking more water and eating fiber-rich foods, it’ll be easier to control cravings and overeat. It doesn’t hurt to over-indulge in lots of water every now and then.

10. Quit the other habits: This one is huge. Bad habits like smoking and drinking too much will be counterproductive to good nutrition and exercise. We all know that they cause cancer and other diseases, so why even risk it?

 Pie chart [see text description below.]

Katrina Evans is a recent graduate from the  University of Central Florida writing to fully support health and wellness for all. She wants to be a difference in people’s lives seeing how devastating cancer can be for people and their families. Katrina also is a fruit junkie who reads all the time, works to stay fit, and listens to cool podcasts.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions or comments.

From Naples,

Kevin

kdeeth21@gmail.com