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Low-Fat or Low-Carb: What is the Healthiest Choice for You and Your Heart?

By HERWriter
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Obesity related image Photo: Getty Images

Should you cut fat to lose fat or cut carbs to lose fat? This has been a debate for most of the new millennium.

Initially, a low-fat diet was recommended for those who were obese. But critics of low-fat diets such as Gary Taubes, author of “Why We Get Fat,” say we only got fatter by opting for carbohydrates instead of fat.

According to MassiveHealth.com which used Taubes as a major source for the basis of its information, “Instead diets rich in carbohydrates, have been secretly storing fat, slowly growing our waistlines and our obesity epidemic.“

The initial recommendation by the National Heart and Lung Institute to promote low-fat diets in the mid-80s makes some sense. One of the reasons could be that carbohydrates contain four calories per gram and fats containing nine calories.

But it is the quality of those carbohydrates that matters most. Carbohydrates are typically found in cookies, pies, candy and sodas. Obviously those should only be consumed in moderation.

But MassiveHealth.com also displays corn, potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, cereal and fruit juices as major culprits. The research indicated that “they are the most digestible and most fattening, pumping glucose into the bloodstream and causing insulin to spike.”

MassiveHealth.com also cites a study at the University of Stanford which compared low-fat, high-carb diet against a low-carb, high-fat and -protein diet. The result of the study indicated, “People who limited carbohydrate intake but ate as much fat and protein as they wanted lost more weight on average than those who avoided fats and increased carbohydrates.”

Experts at the University of Maryland agree with the low-carb diet lifestyle stating, “Carbohydrates, particularly the 'bad carbs' such as white potatoes, rice, pasta and bread, cause a quick rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar levels result in increased insulin levels, and increased insulin levels lead to weight gain because of increased hunger. “

The result of the rise of blood sugar is an increase in insulin as previously mentioned.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Why can't we convince the mainstream media to get this news out. Paleo is the only healthy way to eat. Humans did not evolve to eat grains. The government supported agriculture to feed the masses. Now as we have a huge obesity epidemic, they keep promoting a low-fat diet. Please someone get this news out there.

February 19, 2012 - 3:20pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Obviously they'd get in a lot of trouble if they tried that... and as many of us know, money tends to trump the greater good.

I agree with you, except on one point. Paleo isn't the only healthy way to eat (dairy and grains can actually be healthy under specific, uncommon circumstances - see WAPF), but it is certainly one of the healthiest.

February 20, 2012 - 9:52pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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