The choice between a low fat and low carb diet has been a battle of epic proportions among health conscious individuals for decades. The medical profession has been advocating low fat for cardiovascular health in the belief that fat is bad and excessive carbs promote health. Low carb has been popular since the late Dr. Robert Atkins made a diet of bacon, cheese and meat popular in the 1970’s. Which dietary lifestyle reduces your risk for disease and assists with weight management goals?
Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diet for Weight Loss?
When weight loss is your only goal, do you choose a low fat or low carbohydrate diet? A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that it really makes no difference. The study followed 300 obese participants split between the two dietary patterns and found that both groups lost about 7% of their body weight or roughly 15 pounds over the course of two years. The primary source of calories didn’t count with regard to the final weight loss result. The important element is to determine which diet is better for your health.
Low Fat Diet Promotes Heart Disease
The low fat diet which is regularly touted by medical professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers is dangerous to your health and is the driving force behind the rampant rise in heart disease. By substituting high carbohydrate foods which are low fat or no fat, dieters set the stage for wild swings in blood sugar and metabolic dysfunction. This ultimately leads to diabetes and heart disease as insulin becomes resistant to continually high blood sugar and the inner lining of the arteries are damaged by high blood pressure, oxidized LDL cholesterol and hormonal imbalance.
Choosing the Right Low Carb Diet for Health: Atkins?
There are primarily two different types of low carbohydrate diet. The first is the Atkins menu plan which initially limits fruits, vegetables and most carbohydrates in favor of a diet full of meat, cheese and processed foods which have been manufactured to reduce sugar and available carbs.
By limiting carbs this diet promotes rapid weight loss initially, but many people report difficulty remaining on the diet and find that weight loss stalls after losing 20 to 25 pounds. Additionally, many people include processed meats with the Atkins program which are known to increase cancer risk due the high level of preservative nitrites.
Best Diet for Weight Loss and Health: Naturally Fresh Vegetables and Greens
The second type of low carb diet centers on fresh vegetables and leafy greens, nuts, seeds, lean meats and monounsaturated fats. Research confirms that eating a low carb diet that eliminates all sugar and processed carbs is not only best for weight loss, but also promotes overall health. A low carb lifestyle prevents excess sugar from remaining in the blood after each meal and reduces levels of dangerous triglycerides that convert to fat reserves.
The low fat vs. low carb debate will likely continue as people try to make the right choice for their health and weight loss goals. Both have been shown effective in promoting weight loss, but evidence abounds that the low fat approach is dangerous to health and should be avoided. Low carb alternatives are the best strategy but the Atkins approach may not promote health, depending on how it is followed. A diet filled with fresh vegetables in their natural form is best for optimal health and weight loss success.