I would not be a responsible Team Leader if I did not write and share this blog. I am both saddened and scared for team members of my Raw Foodies and Green Smoothie Teams that are following the writings and suggestions of a Sparker that is constantly pushing the 80/10/10 Diet. Yes there are pros to this diet but the cons far outweigh them. However, this Sparker does not share the pitfalls and reacts poorly when the subject arises.
For those that are not familiar with the 80/10/10, this is a book that was written by Douglas Graham. His concept proposes that the ideal ratio of nutrients to support health is 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 10% fat. Graham is basing his program entirely on raw foods with fruit forming the foundation of the diet. He states that fruit is the ideal food for humans and supports his claims with convincing arguments and scientific research.
Dieters are encouraged to eat mono meals of fruit where a single fruit is eaten in large quantities. For example breakfast might consist of 4 pounds of watermelon. Graham explains that it is necessary to eat fruit in such amounts in order to obtain adequate calories, which is necessary to thrive on this diet.
Graham also advises dieters to consume approximately a pound of leafy greens each day such as lettuce, spinach, and celery. Foods high in fat such as avocado and nuts are generally limited to a small serving every second day or so.
Ok enough for a synopsis of his book.
There are pros and cons to consuming fat in your diet. There are many opinions out there just exactly how much fat we need in our diets to be healthy. We should limit foods high in saturated fat, fat is necessary to maintain a healthybody. Many people eat too much of the bad fats, but also eat too little of the good fats required for optimal health.
There are long term, health problems from dietary deficiencies and imbalances inevitably catch up with people. When one starts embracing a new way to eat the beginning of the diet results in a spectacular honeymoon phase—filled with surging energy, renewed vigor, and zest for your lively cuisine. Of course it does. You have been abusing your body for years and you are now cleaning up your act and your diet. Out goes the greasy fried foods (think cheese burgers, fried chicken, and fries), out goes the sugar ( think milkshakes, ice cream, cookies, cakes, and pies), out goes the processed foods (think about your favorite junk food snacks). You get the ideas so of course you are going to lose weight and your health immediately improves.
But somewhere down the line—months for some people, years for others—the problems start creeping in. To lower the risk of obesity and heart disease, it is important to reduce the amount of fat in the diet. However, going too low can also lead to health problems because the body needs some fat to function properly. The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, keeping your fat intake to around 30 percent of your daily calories (while minimizing consumption of saturated fat) can decrease your risk for certain cancers, cardiac conditions and stroke.
Essential fatty acids are directly linked to brain function, mood stabilization, healthy nervous and reproductive systems, etc. So many parts of the body are built with fats too, not enough of them and things can start to malfunction here and there. I'm not advocating tons of fatty foods but there is a reason we crave them, good fats are pretty essential for body function and health.
Short-term results and long-term results are often the exact opposite. If feeling better in the short-term was the key to your health then go for it. Yes you will loose weight if that is your only objective. So if you only do this for a short term that may be appealing. You will get fast results. Are bells going off in your head right now? They should be, doesn’t this sound like just another fad diet? Doesn’t this sound like just a quick fix?
Unfortunately there is a price to pay for taking such a path. Aren’t we all here on Spark People to learn how to form better habits and to develop a healthier lifestyle? Diets do not work but healthy lifestyles do. We need to develop a lifestyle plan we can live with forever and not just the short term.
That is the problem with the 80/10/10. There is no longevity to it. It hasn’t been around long enough to have a proven track record. It hasn’t been around long enough for the illnesses, complications, and deaths to be attributed to this way of eating. However, by following an lowfat diet like 10% or less has found usually starting with small things like constant coldness, disappearance of the menstrual period followed by much more serious health problems like anemia, infertility, hair loss, severe digestive problems, frequent illness/immune disorders, autoimmune disease, and any number of other strange complications.
If you follow a low-fat diet, then you are missing out on the benefits of good fat such as unsaturated fat. This type of fat actually helps decrease bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol. Cooking oils such as olive oil and canola oil contain unsaturated fats, as do nuts, peanut butter, avocado and flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids are another type of healthy fat, as they can help decrease cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides. Fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Low-fat diets also decrease the supply of hormones that maintain your muscles. This results in the loss of lean muscle that helps you burn calories and rev up your metabolism.
Fat serves essential functions in the body. It helps control inflammation, supports blood clotting and brain development and provides insulation for the organs. In addition, fat can provide the body with energy when glucose levels get low. The body needs adequate levels of fat to maintain healthy skin and hair and to be able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. So cutting out too much fat from the diet is not healthy.
A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that, after eating an oil-free salad of lettuce, spinach, carrots and tomatoes, people absorbed little of the phytochemicals beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene
In conclusion the Benefits of the 80/10/10:
Can help keep your cholesterol levels constant
Can help lower your blood pressure
Can help eliminate risks of cardiovascular disease
Quick weight loss that will come back once you find your body can’t sustain this diet and you go off it
The cons of the 80/10/10:
A diet you can not follow for life
Gall bladder issues
Thanks guys, how could I leave off the most common problem with high fruit consumption - the loss of your teeth and other major dental complications
You can lose B vitamins, zinc and some essential fatty acids if the fat content in your diet is too low. Fat is needed to help the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well lycopene.
The researchers analyzed data from the long-running Nurses' Health Study that began in 1980 with 85,764 women. By 1996, the ones who ate the least saturated fat (about 20 grams per day) were about twice as likely as women eating moderate amounts (25 to 36 grams) to have suffered a particular type of stroke called an intraparenchymal hemorrhage.
Following a low fat is a good thing. Keeping your daily fat intake between 20 and 30% is safe. Limiting your daily fat intake to 10% or under is dangerous.
The thing that bothers me the most is this diet is totally unproven. It is the brainchild of just man and one book. It is this one book that this Sparker is basing her conclusions on and is trying to ram you’re your throats and say this is the one true way to eat. There is a term for this. It is called orthorexia nervosa. Orthorexia nervosa refers to a pathological fixation on eating so-called ‘proper’ food. I see a danger in this because she is trying to develop a following and many people are turning to this because tremendous weight loss is and always has been enticing. Ding, ding, ding those bells are going off. Do your homework folks. Do your own homework. Make your own conclusions. Look at both the pros and cons, then make your own decision.
Please read this article found on Spark People, 6 Risks of Eating a Low-Fat Diet. How Low Can You Go? The Big Fat Truth about Low-Fat Diets. It is Spark People’s position on the issue of low fat.