Conventional advice has focused on low-fat diets for weight loss and heart disease prevention, but again and again, studies demonstrate that this advice is diametrically opposed to reality... In one such study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Heart and Vascular Institute compared the effects of two diets on vascular health; one low in fat, the other low in carbs. The study in question was presented at this year's meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver, on June 33.
The study included a total of 46 men and women weighing on average 218 pounds. The six-month long weight loss program consisted of moderate aerobic exercise and strength training, and one of two diets, either:
Low-carb, high-fat: Less than 30 percent of calories from carbs (pastas, breads and sugary fruits), and up to 40 percent from fats (meat, dairy products, and nuts)
Low-fat, high-carb diet: Less than 30 percent of calories from fat, and 55 percent from carbs
The low-carb group on average shed 10 pounds in 45 days, while the low-fat group took 70 days to lose the same amount of weight. In terms of vascular health, the low-carb, high-fat dieters showed no harmful vascular changes, which is the primary reason for why so many are afraid of high-fat diets.
According to the lead investigator, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology, Kerry Stewart, Ed.D:
"Our study should help allay the concerns that many people who need to lose weight have about choosing a low-carb diet instead of a low-fat one, and provide re-assurance that both types of diet are effective at weight loss and that a low-carb approach does not seem to pose any immediate risk to vascular health. More people should be considering a low-carb diet as a good option."
Stewart also believes that the emphasis on low-fat diets has likely contributed to the obesity epidemic in the US by promoting overconsumption of sugars and grains. I couldn't agree more. The simple reason for this is that grains and sugars raise your insulin levels, which causes insulin resistance and, ultimately, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
As I stated once before, FATTY fish, fish OIL, essential FATTY acids, avocado, nuts with their OILS, even olive OIL, and other monounsaturated FATS may be beneficial to us because, as the above article says, the fats are the preferred fuel in our cells. Cod liver OIL may offer us more benefits than just the vitamin D. We simply have not been getting enough dietary fat. The Western diet has too many carbohydrates, sugar and starch.