Saturday, April 25, 2015

Now they say Fat is Okay Again? And Carbs are Bad?

I am sick of this fat vs carb debate. For years my husband tried to lose weight on a very low carb diet. What happened? His weight crept up and so did his cholesterol and blood pressure. His doctor kept telling him that he had to eat less fat, that was the position of the medical community, and the countries that ate less meat and fat like China and India had less obesity and heart problems. I am Italian and grew up eating pasta and bread and pizza-mostly plain or with a bit of sauce. Me and my family are slim.
It was only after his friend died from a heart attack my husband decided to give low fat a try. This time he counted all grams of fat and stayed very low. Surprise surprise, he is losing weight, and his blood pressure is now normal! Waiting to see cholesterol numbers but I bet they are now good. So where the heck do the experts get off saying that carbs are now bad and meat/fats are now good? I bet its the meat/dairy industry behind it. Thanks for your thoughts!   Karen L.

Ah yes, Karen, the age old debate of "fat" versus "carb" calories. And there are still those who say, it's just the calories, regardless what food they are from!

The low-carb diet has been around at least as early as the 1960's. Fat got a bad rap shortly after that and a lower fat diet has been recommended for many populations since the 1970s, especially people with coronary artery disease.

Now some in the medical community are coming out and saying 'It's not fat after all, it's sugar'.

The fact is, it's not one type of food or one food component that is the culprit: It's a whole lot of things, including overall diet, lifestyle, and health of the individual. As registered dietitians we emphasize a diet including 'everything in moderation' and finding what works for each person. There are those who follow the Atkins diet and do well with a low-carb regimen. It sounds like your husband did not. Others follow a fat-restricted diet (made famous in the 1970's by Dr. Pritikin and, later, Dean Ornish).

Perhaps the diets work better for some individuals because they are easier to follow for some people. Eliminating carbs is a helpful technique for those who can't stop once they get started with pasta, bread and snack foods. Many find it hard to stick to for long. But others need those "rules" that just say no to a whole list of food.

A low-fat diet works for many, and still others follow the Mediterranean diet, with reasonable amounts of both carbs and fats, the majority coming from fish and plant-based oils.

We can't say what works for one person will work for another, or even that everyone who eats a healthy diet will be a healthy person. We can just encourage people to find something that works for them, and stick with it.

It sounds like your husband has figured out what works for him. In that case, he should stick with it and enjoy the benefits!

No comments:

Post a Comment