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High-Fat Low-Carb Diet: Miracle Weight Loss Or Dangerous Health Risk?

Making sense of the low-carb diet controversy

lambchops on white plate

There are two ends to the spectrum of fat in the diet. They have both been controversial for the last few decades.

On the one end there are the low-fat diets. This includes all the low-fat diet foods and non-fat diet foods that you see advertised so heavily.

And on the other end of the spectrum are the high-fat diets. Now, they don't necessarily call themselves high-fat diets, because that might sound too greasy and scary to too many people. This group includes Atkins and South Beach Diet.

High-fat diets have low carbohydrate because when you put in more fat something else gets pushed out, and what gets pushed out on a high-fat diet is carbohydrate.

Unless of course you eat lard and sugar, in which case protein gets pushed out.

So where did all the push and shove come from -- the high-fat versus low-fat?

Is fat dangerous?

There was a big push in the 1980s to get people to quit eating too much fat. Some researchers thought that too much fat caused heart disease and obesity.

Even though they had a hard time proving that fat was dangerous, the US government still pushed the idea, and nutritionists everywhere started preaching about low fat. Low fat was supposed to make you healthier and leaner.

Well, it didn't work out that way. And when it became clear that fats were needed in the diet some people went to the other extreme. They started to promote very high-fat diets. The idea was that if some fat is necessary to a lean, healthy body, then why not go all the way. Why not make your diet 50% fat, 60% fat, or more?

To prop up their argument they tell you about the Eskimos and how they eat a lot of fat. Well, maybe they do. But Eskimos live in the arctic and eat whale blubber and you don't. So what the Eskimos eat does not have a lot to do with you.

What should you do?

Common sense will tell you that eating too much greasy food is not a good idea. The Greeks said moderation in all things.

  • Fat has a tremendous amount of calories. So it doesn't leave enough room in your diet for your protein and good carbohydrates.
  • It doesn't stimulate your metabolism the way protein does.
  • In some people too much fat makes the cells more resistant to insulin.
  • It also makes it so that less insulin is secreted. And insulin is needed in order for glucose and amino acids to enter the muscles. Without insulin you lose your muscle mass and become weak.
  • And fat you eat does get stored easily. Why wouldn't it--after all you don't have to change it into fat the way you do for protein and carbohydrate.

So a moderate amount of fat is best. You just have to make sure that the fats you take in have a proper balance. There are different kinds of fat, after all. If not you might need oil change.

So don't be afraid of fats. But don't go overboard. Fats are an important part of your diet -- the diet that will help you to finally lose that extra weight and keep it off.

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

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These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

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  • Clearwater, FL 33761
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