Dietary Fat And You
With the nation’s poor heart health a regular fixture in the media and endless stories about what fruit and/or vegetable options will be best to decrease your risk, can you be sure that what you are reading is backed by science? Or is it simply a question of snappy headlines?
Since the 1960s, the accepted theory has been that dietary fat consumption is the enemy and by removing it from our diet we are doing the right thing to protect our health. Unfortunately the science that backed this statement was flawed and even Professor Ancel Keys, the man responsible for this prevention tactic later admitted that he was wrong. So if dietary fat has been wrongly accused, what actual health benefits does it hold?
Is fear of fat ruining your diet?
Ever since the low-fat message was introduced, there has been an increase in carbohydrate consumption. In fact, current health guidelines insist that 50% of our meals consist of carbohydrate based foods. The rationale behind this message is that our bodies require carbohydrates for energy. This is a myth as our bodies can run on other fuel sources - fat and protein. Proof of this can be found in any biochemistry textbook.
Beneficial Fats & Health
When we talk about dietary fats being an important component in the diet, this is not a mandate to eat deep fried foods and confectionary. By consuming beneficial fats in your diet, we mean the use of butter, extra virgin olive oil and/or coconut oil in your cooking. We also mean consuming oily fish such as salmon, trout, herring, etc and also the consumption of eggs and full fat dairy. Before panic sets in about the high amount of cholesterol consumed, science is continuously showing that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease.
Trials upon trials keep showing that individuals who consume beneficial fats in their diet and consume low amounts of refined sugar and starchy items, have better blood results and are not at risk of of heart disease. These individuals exhibit decreased triglycerides, increased HDL (the good cholesterol) as well as making the transition to less atherogenic LDL (bad cholesterol) particles [1-7].
How we can help
Here at the Natural Low Carb Store we believe that the way to a healthy lifestyle is to decrease the amount of sugars and starches in your diet and make sure you consume enough beneficial fat throughout your day.
The importance of fat in the diet is often taken for granted as fat has been on the receiving end of bad press for years. Fat needs to form part of a healthy diet as it is an important carrier of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Once fat is removed from the diet, deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals start to become apparent.
Regularly consuming beneficial fats in your diet will help combat common side effects of consuming too many carbohydrates in your diet such as feelings of sluggishness, craving sweet foods after each meals, feeling physical full but still feeling hungry, etc.
Here at the Natural Low Carb Store we believe about making the right food choices and being able to navigate the confusing food environment we live in. We are happy to help. So if you have any further questions or would like to know how switching your diet can help you achieve your goals, then please do get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.
- Brehm BJ, et al. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2003, 88:1617–1623
- Foster GD, et al. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. NEJM, 2003, 348:2082-2090.
- Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, Kraemer HC, King AC: Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 2007, 297(9):969-977.
- Halton T.L, Willett W.C, Liu S., Manson J.E, Albert C.M, Rexrode K, Hu F.B. Low-Carbohydrate-Diet Score and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women. NEJM, 2006, 355:1991-2002
- Hession M, Rolland C, Kulkarni U, Wise A & Broom J. Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obesity Reviews, 2008, 10 (1): 36-50.
- Samaha FF, et al. A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. NEJM, 2003, 348:2074-2081
- Yancy WS, Jr., Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC: A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2004, 140(10):769-777.