Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,199 10/24/13 9:09 P
While I'm no advocate of low-fat diets either (Chicken breasts, broccoli, raspberries, and Pam cooking spray for the rest of my life? Yeah, no. And don't get me started on most processed "nonfat" items), I get so annoyed at the constant implication that the obvious and only alternative to low-fat is high-fat/low-carb. Believe it or not, there actually do exist a whole lot of people who would find it next to impossible or unhealthy to eat that way, and who would be every bit as likely to give up and regain (or suffer other negative consequences) as the average devotee of non-fat cottage cheese and pineapples.
I swear there is nothing in the popular conception of "science" that makes me grit my teeth more than the fallacy of the excluded middle. My own way of eating is higher in carbohydrates than most Americans (mostly due to a paucity of animal products), lower in protein (same) and probably about average in fat (what my family lacks in animal fat we make up for and then some in olive oil. Plus all the other sources.) You listen to some sources and you'd think people like me don't exist.
Nutritional health is a personalized issue... but there are some things which are "good health" across the board.
Various special interests have skewed our perceptions for reasons which really don't help us much. The worst is, they *DO* cite research... it's just old and flawed or biased research which has been taught to every graduating class of medical professional or dietary specialist ever since... and is *still* being taught. Educators and students don't consider going back into that original research to be certain it was ever correct to begin with. So we now have most of our specialists and the greater part of the general public convinced of paradigms and mythinformation which are leading us astray.
I want desperately to reach people too. Not necessarily to convince anyone to eat the way I eat (although I think it's a healthy lifestyle), but simply to t-h-i-n-k. Teach themselves! learn what is really valid (which is a far cry from what we're still getting from the medical professionals who make recommendations to us). Unfortunately, in the process of promoting the SAD which has created so much dietary woe for us, those promoters have preyed upon the lack of knowledge and unfounded health fears of the general public to the point that they can't even hear or consider anything not endorsed in that SAD. Most people will never give any other options consideration -- especially since they're going to "research" those other options via organizations which are either still entrenched in the SAD theories or else are so far out on the nutritional fringe they simply aren't reliable.
Everyone likes to preach "everything in moderation." Well, there are reputable information sources - not dogmatic followers of the government-approved line... and yet not wild fads, either. "Moderate" resources, if you will. You just have to know how to think critically, how to read research, and have the courage to implement those things which have good scientific data to back them up. It IS out there. Really. But finding it is certainly more work than just going along with whatever we're told.
Each to his/her own. No matter what you adopt, if you can't adopt it as a lifestyle, it's still not likely to provide benefit over a lifetime. You have to believe in what you eat and stay with it. Everyone's body responds differently (to a degree) to the foods it's given. It simply saddens me that so many are trying so hard to follow an average or median recommendation, and it's failing for so many in so many ways... but small groups can only do so much. If individuals aren't willing to advocate for their own health... well. We can only do what we can do.
They key is being in a calorie deficit for weight loss to occur; while finding an approach that meets your total nutritional needs, and is an eating style that you enjoy and can follow the rest of your life for long term weight management.
I hate terms like low this, high that...low and high mean nothing.
A plan should include a variety of foods to meet your complete nutritional needs.
I have been very successful on low carb higher fat eating. I have been involved in debates on message boards here about the subject. My thinking has always been that we as humans are not as one size fits all as the 'experts' would like to believe.
As Russell pointed out in his post there are people that will binge on low fat high carb diets that are able to eat without binging on low carb. I am one of those. It is a life saver for me. Nearly five months without binge eating was simply unthinkable eating low fat.
That being said many people have terrific results eating low fat high carb as the experts tell us to. People live happy healthy lives as vegans, vegetarians, paleos and Atkins and South Beach adherrants. The one thing they all agree on 100% is restriction of sugar and processed carbs. Even the experts advocating low fat high carb agree on this.
For me low carb higher fat is the only way to avoid binge eating. The only rule that I think everyone can agree on is to restrict sugar. Most don't need to eliminate it altogether but restricting it to occasional treats will be good for anyone that tries it
I eat a 60% fat diet. I am still obese though, but improving steadily. I am 202 today, down from 361.That has taken me 53 months so far, and I have strayed a bit, which slowed me down. It is easy to continue eating poorly once you start, and getting back on track can take a while once you do it.
I personally find I eat less on low carb ( Atkins for me ). I might eat a bit more on paper, but I avoid HUGE binges of 5,000-8,000 calories. I see 125 lb women eating 2200 calories a day though, and maintaining, while others eating high carb are saying they eat 1200 and can't lose. My concern is not to understand what is causing them issues, but with what works for me.
I am diabetic. I also have been off all my meds for 41 months, since 1 year after starting low carb. I was on 2000 mg Metformin, and Amaryl in the morning, and 1 year later, I was having blood sugars of 70 two hours AFTER a meal, which was dangerously low. My A1C is now 5.3. Also, while eating 4-5 eggs a day, with butter, and 1.5 lbs of meat.. most days over 500 mg cholesterol, my cholesterol is down to 100-130, and my HDL is up, and my LDL/triglyserides are way down.
I hear about the danger of low carb, and I think most of it is about the complexity of the diet. It IS harder to do. The biggest danger is that we tell someone about it, and they do it wrong. It is kind of like explaining sky diving to someone while in a plane. Step 1 is jump out of the plane. If at this point, they do so, before you explain the parachute.. there could be danger.
I am a heart patient. Atkins was a cardiologist. I started Atkins because I thought weighing 361 was more dangerous than cutting carbs a bunch. At first I was just blindly avoiding carbs, and over time I have had to adjust this thinking. I eat beans, and many vegetables, as well as cheeses, and limited amounts of berries. I eat low glycemic carbs most of the time, which allows me to eat more of them.
There are multiple levels of debate with low carb. Should we eat more saturated fats or avoid them? Is high fat bad for you? Can very low carb be detrimental? Cause kidney damage? Sluggishness? plus many more. The arguments tire me out.
What is important is the results people who are successful get. Since upping fat, and specifically saturated fats, my HDL has gone up by 50%This was a major problem since it was 24 before. I have been eating 60 % fat for over a year now, and feel great most of the time. My bloodwork, and tests are excellent compared to 5 years ago. My kidney function is normal, and has shown no change since starting low carb. Although it may be because of the 159 lbs I have lost, I am not sluggish. I walk 45 minutes a day. Yes, as a heart patient, I have bad days, but they were more numerous before low carb.
The problem, and the danger is replicating the effects of the diet. It worked for me, but will it work for someone else the same way. The answer is NO. People tend to do low carb halfway. They don't commit, and so they eat carbs, AND high fat, which IS dangerous.
For those of us who have success eating a high fat diet, the results are amazing and we want to share that success, especially when I talk to diabetics, or hear of someone eating 1200 calories, and staying at 240 lbs. It is heartbreaking and we want to help.
Here is where professionals could help. The biggest danger of low carb is implementation. They go to a dietitian, and say they want to do low carb, and are put on a diet of 120-150 grams of carbs, with no attention paid to types of food. If instead, they learned how to implement low carb correctly, and instead of trying to offer a " better " version of it, people might actually succeed on low carb, without any of the pitfalls.
Instead, they let people try it with only Step 1. They know to cut carbs, and just like jumping out of an airplane with no instructions, this is dangerous. However, so is the average American diet, or eating high fat, while still consuming carbs.
people see others having incredible success with low carb, and they decide to try it for themselves. It would be a huge help to these people if the " experts " could study low carb, and explain it, and help those who need it to implement it. If I can do low carb, by myself, as a heart patient, with no ill effects, imagine how harmless it would be for a healthy person, with guidance from a professional.. as long as that professional is willing to put aside their prejudices, and actually try to help their patient, instead of cling to old ideas at the risk to the patient.
It is time for low carb to become mainstream. It is time for nutritionists to study this without bias, and determine why it is so successful for some. It is time for dietitians to help patients implement it correctly.
Sure most Americans do not eat a healthy diet. The SAD is not what dietitians/ doctors recommend. However, it is what people eat when told fat is bad. So in effect, this is the result of upping carbs/ lowering fat suggested in the early 70's, coincidentally when our obesity epidemic, which was just starting, exploded. The Senate hearings were because of obesity climbing, but after they decided to promote high carb/low fat, it accelerated. Even after 40 years of evidence that it is a failure, the idea of lower carb, higher fat is taboo.
One day we will look back, and laugh at how silly we were. Faced with overwhelming evidence that SAD didn't work, and the diet they WERE promoting had a larger failure rate than even low carb, we will wonder why we didn't even consider low carb, as millions died from preventable diseases.
SAD is not recommended by anyone. It is a horrible diet. It is what happens when you say " fat is bad ", and let manufacturers make low fat food. This is why there is danger by saying carbs are bad. All that will happen is manufacturers will make " low carb " foods. It will just be a different poor diet.
So while I choose to do low carb, and have figured it out through reading, and experimentation, I wonder if it would be detrimental for it to become a major diet, as manufacturers would sabotage the food. People would have the same failure rate, since they fail to study up on nutrition, and just jump on statements like fat/carbs are bad ".
Manufacturers have already made " low carb " food in limited quantities, and those who eat them usually fail. It may be that all that would happen is they would create a low carb version of SAD, and obesity. disease would continue.
My recommendation would be for government to regulate food manufacturers more closely, and promote both low carb, and the diet they currently do. If they made low fat cookies/Twinkies obsolete, they might remove the foods that sabotage the " low fat diet " You can use fat or carbs as fuel for your body, but the individual choices matter also. Some of us do well on a low fat/high carb diet, and we just need more people who do so, to stick to it, and for those who thrive on a high fat/ low carb diet, they need to be taught how to implement it correctly. Both diets have food manufacturers as enemies. Our government allows them to prey upon uninformed people, with labels on foods to make them think it is healthy, when it is garbage.
If low carb was to become more popular, these food manufacturers would just switch to making low carb foods, and low carb would become the colossal failure the promoted low fat diet is. A harmful version would emerge ( like SAD ), and people would just fail on a different diet.
So while I wish to have people do low carb, and experience the benefits, and think this could happen if experts would help them do so, I am not sure that the results would be what we wanted. I am sure that when they envisioned a low fat diet, they only thought of healthy foods, like lean meats, veggies, and whole grains. They never thought about whole grains being loaded with sugar. Oatmeal with maple syrup, bread with added sugar, and processed foods were the results. This was not the intent, but it is the reality.
What would they do to low carb foods, if they decided that is where the money is? I doubt we low carbers would recognize the diet.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.