Low carb diets were all the rage a while back and the rage is returning with good reason. But non-judicious fat intake is a bad health choice as well. Losing weight and eating healthier should top many lists. With the new year just days away, resolution lists are firing up. But the onslaught of opinions on the best approach to weight loss can be overwhelming. In the November 2018 Science magazine issue, a group of researchers with diverse and contrasting perspectives on the best diet came to a consensus. First Health shares the findings.
When it comes to weight loss strategies, there’s no shortage on advice readily available. And it’s often from dietitians, doctors and other experts who lay out the evidence for why their approach makes the most sense. There are conflicting views on the ideal fat and carbohydrate consumption that works. Low carb diets can work weight loss but can also be hazardous to good health. But which one is right? What is the best diet?
Well a team of researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues with diverse expertise and perspectives on the issues published a paper that looks at three contrasting positions and identified areas of agreement. They also took into account areas of disagreement that prompted the creation of a future research agenda.
LOW FAT OR LOW CARB? WHICH IS BETTER FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Their focus was on dietary guidelines for fat and carbohydrate consumption. The three contrasting views that they analyzed were:
- High consumption of fat causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and possibly cancer, therefore low-fat diets are optimal.
- Processed carbohydrates have negative effects on metabolism; lower-carbohydrate or ketogenic (very low-carb) diets with high fat content are better for health.
- The relative quantity of dietary fat and carbohydrate has little health significance—what’s important is the type of fat or carbohydrate source consumed.
DIET QUALITY IS MOST IMPORTANT
Low fat vs. low carb and the winner is? None of them! The researchers all agreed that no specific fat to carbohydrate ratio is best for everyone. Furthermore, they agreed that a high-quality diet that is low in sugar and refined grains will help most people maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease. They suggest replacing saturated or trans fats with unsaturated fats and refined carbohydrates with whole grains and non-starchy vegetables.
As the new year rolls in, be prepared for the flood of well-intended best diet advice to strike your inbox, newspapers, magazines etc. Rather than allowing it to overwhelm you, know that there’s no perfect diet plan. Sticking with a well-balanced, healthy diet, is your best bet for maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing your risk of chronic disease.
|AVOID THESE:||EAT THESE:|
|Saturated Fats, including:
· Fatty beef
· Poultry with skin
· Cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat milk
|Unsaturated Fats, including:
· Oils (olive, peanut, canola, safflower, sunflower)
· Most nuts and seeds
· Fatty fish (i.e. sardines, tuna, salmon)
· Ground flax and flaxseed oil
|Refined (or processed) Carbohydrates, including:
· Sugar-sweetened beverages
· White pasta and rice
· White bread
· Pastries, cakes and cookies
|Whole (or unprocessed) Carbohydrates, including:
· Legumes, nuts and seeds
· Whole fruits (within limits)
· Whole grains
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
Leave a reply →