Have you ever followed a strict, low-fat diet, and been extremely disappointed when, after six months, you barely lost five pounds, if that? I see nodding heads…
I first discovered a low-carb lifestyle long before I was diagnosed with diabetes. I found out about the Atkins Diet. I had been trying, unsuccessfully, for six months, to lose weight and lower my cholesterol by following a low-fat diet. It wasn’t happening. Six months in I had lost two pounds and my cholesterol numbers hadn’t budged. Does this sound familiar?
At the time, I was living in Texas. I was in my thirties, then, too. I also was not yet diabetic. I went to my doctor and asked him what he thought about me trying the Atkins Diet…fully expecting to get lectured about how fat was horrible for you. After all, the Atkins Diet seemed to go against every conventional bit of wisdom that was drilled into our heads. How were you supposed to lose weight eating “heart attack on a plate?”
To my surprise, my doctor okayed me trying this. And you know what, it worked! In ten months on Atkins, I lost forty pounds before hitting a plateau I was unable to break through. My cholesterol numbers normalized. I ended up going off the Atkins Diet…and gained back everything I had lost and more. I’m betting this is familiar to you, too!
“Grain for gain” sayeth bodybuilders…and those who raise cattle for food. THEY know what most of us don’t seem to! For fifty years, we have been sold a bill of goods that fat was horrible for you, and that if you had high cholesterol, you had to seriously avoid fat and high-cholesterol foods, right? Yet, my ten months on Atkins produced the exact-opposite results one would have expected, following the conventional wisdom. Something was not right here!
This is not to say you should pop open that can of Crisco and go to town, but if you are fat-phobic, you should consider that a top British cardiologist has now said that fat, even saturated fat, DOES NOT lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Don’t take MY word for it, here is an article:
I would like to highlight a section of that article that I feel is relevant to my own condition –
A UK cardiologist says it is time “to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease,” pointing out that since we started following advice to remove it from our diets, cardiovascular risk has gone up.
Writing in this week’s online issue of the British Medical Journal Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, also says government obsession with reducing total cholesterol has led to millions of people being overmedicated with statins, when the real issue is not cholesterol but a more complex triad of lipid abnormalities called “atherogenic dyslipidemia.”
He describes how the “seven countries” landmark study of the 1970s, showed links between rates of coronary heart disease and cholesterol levels, and linked this to energy levels from saturated fats. But without establishing whether these factors were actually causing heart disease, governments pushed out guidelines telling us to cut fat intake to 30% of total calories and saturated fat to 10%.
In the meantime, “recent prospective cohort studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk,” and “Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective,” he adds.
Sugar and metabolic syndrome
Increasing amounts of sugar are added to processed foods to replace the loss of flavor associated with fat reduction.
Dr. Malhotra points the finger at sugar. When you take the fat out of food, it tastes worse, so the food industry replaced the saturated fat with added sugar.
Now evidence is piling up showing that sugar could be an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, abnormal blood sugar, raised triglycerides, low cholesterol and a large waist),
which is known to lead to diabetes and raised cardiovascular risks.
Do you understand what is being said here?
The epidemic of diabetes HAS BEEN CAUSED, AT LEAST IN PART…by the low-fat myth!
Continuing from the article:
Another failure in the argument demonizing saturated fat is the idea that because it is energy-rich, then reducing it will reduce calorie intake. But, setting aside the fact that food producers substituted it with sugar, this argument clashes with increasing evidence to back the theory that a “calorie is not a calorie” – where that energy comes from can determine how much energy is consumed.
Fat has more energy per gram than protein and carbohydrate, but Dr. Malhotra cites studies that show the body does not metabolize these nutrients in the same way; indeed, among weight loss diets comprising 90% fat, 90% protein and 90% carbohydrate, the greatest weight loss was in the 90% fat group.
In a separate article, I will discuss my own dietary plan, which involves low-carb and exercise. I will tell you that what I have been doing has taken me, in 4 1/2 months…from being 304.5 pounds, with a fasting blood glucose of 388 – to being today 246.0 pounds (a loss of 58.5 pounds) and a fasting blood glucose in the mid-80’s to mid 90’s.
For perspective, a healthy fasting blood glucose is considered to be between 70 and 110 mg/dL. So today, after four and a half months of following my new lifestyle, I generally have healthy blood sugar levels. And I am nearly sixty pounds lighter. I am also off two out of three of the blood pressure meds I was on, and my sleep apnea has all but abated completely.
Until next time!