For decades, politically correct “experts” told us if we wanted to lose weight and achieve good health we should follow a low-fat diet. They told us to avoid saturated fat–found in eggs, meat, and dairy–like the plague. And they told us to switch to toxic, artificial margarine, low-fat dairy, and unsaturated cooking oils.
We now know this misguided advice doesn’t help you lose more weight. And it doesn’t even give you an edge, health-wise. In fact, a brand-new study published in the Annals of Medicine proves fat is clearly not the enemy it’s made out to be.
For this study, participants followed either a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet for about a year. The men and women who limited carbs, but didn’t worry about limiting fat, clearly came out ahead.
They lost eight more pounds, on average, than the low-fat group. They improved their muscle mass. Whereas the low-fat group lost muscle mass. In fact, the low-fat group lost more muscle than fat! Plus, the low-carb group’s inflammation markers and triglycerides (fats in the blood) plunged. And HDL cholesterol (the good kind) rose sharply compared to the low-fat group. Total cholesterol and blood pressure remained about the same in both groups.
The low-carb dieters even managed to lower their Framingham risk scores, which calculate the likelihood of a heart attack within the next 10 years. The low-fat group on average had no improvement in their scores.
So why does the low-carb diet have such a significant advantage?
First, eating food with natural fat is nutritious. In fact, fats found in eggs, fish, olive oil, nuts, flax seeds, and certain cuts of meat are essential for good health. These foods are high in healthy fatty acids and important, fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E…and/or they help you better absorb these vitamins from your diet.
Plus, they help you shed pounds and build muscle mass, as the new study showed. In fact, avoiding healthy fats–in favor of a low-fat, high-carb alternative–can promote weight gain.
Now, as I mentioned yesterday, modest weight gain isn’t necessarily the cancer risk the government-medical-industrial complex has made it out to be. But obesity is a concern for other serious conditions. And indeed, sugars and processed carbs are the real culprits when it comes to the weight gain that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
Years ago, I was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. And we saw the direct impact sugar and carbs have on body weight and health. But back then, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board actually claimed there was no evidence for health dangers of sugar! They said eat all the sugar you want. Just make sure to cut the fat.
Now we know sugar and carbohydrates (especially processed carbs) are a problem. A major problem. They drive insulin levels higher, which harms your overall health.
Plus, many baked goods, pastries, and fried foods contain artificial fats, such as trans fats. These fats cause inflammation in the body. And evidence links them to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Thankfully, the FDA has finally banned these fats after a lengthy review and substitution period.
By contrast, natural fats–such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, olive oil and other foods in the Mediterranean Diet–help reduce inflammation. They also promote weight loss and overall heath. And it’s why the low-carb dieters in the new study reaped such tremendous benefits.
Unfortunately, many American have literally “bought in” to the faulty recommendations about low-fat diets. They eat “low-fat” and other foods filled with empty calories, sugar, processed white grains, and simple carbs.
In other countries–such as Japan–they follow diets high in healthy protein and fats. They also have greater longevity. On average, the Japanese live five years longer than men and women in the U.S.
If you want to achieve greater longevity and lose a few pounds along the way, here are four healthy foods to keep in your diet:
- Animal products
Go ahead and eat moderate amounts of saturated fats in butter, cheese, milk, and lean cuts of beef, pork, and poultry. It won’t clog your arteries. And it’s actually beneficial. Plus, the association of these foods with cholesterol is a myth. And the association of cholesterol with heart disease has been made into a mountain from a molehill.
- Wild-caught fish
Polyunsaturated fats–such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish–as well as available in high-quality fish oil supplements have been repeatedly shown to lower heart disease, improve brain function, prevent dementia, and reduce arthritis. So strive to eat wild-caught fish once a week.
Natural fatty acids in tree nuts reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Adding just 2 ounces per day of nuts–such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts–improves heart health in people with diabetes. So strive to eat a handful each day. [insert hyperlink to: https://www.drmicozzi.com/improve-blood-sugar-control-with-tree-nuts]
- Vegetable oils
Olive oil and other natural oils such as canola and palm oil are loaded with healthy omega-3s. In addition, palm oil is a major source of carotenoids and vitamin A for many of the world’s populations. We made this finding in the mid-1980s working with the USDA Human Nutrition Research Lab on nutrient composition of foods. These plant oils reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce blood sugar, and diabetes. Plus, they increase longevity.
Don’t be afraid to enjoy all these delicious foods in moderation. And learn to ignore all the experts whose advice is based on outdated, politically correct ideology. As you can see, a healthy diet need not be boring or full of expensive, artificial, low-fat foods.
- “Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets,” Ann Intern Med 2014;161(5):309-318