As many of you know, about a year and a half ago, Ms Eclectic and I went on a version of the Atkins diet. It is a low-carb diet that doesn't worry so much about fat or calories: just cut back on the carbs and eat lots of low-carb veggies.
We have had success with the diet. We both lost weight initially, and we have rarely been hungry. Unfortunately, my hankerings for pizza and desserts have kept me from losing any more weight, but I have found two things of importance:
- A high-fat, low-carb diet does not make me feel as if I'm starving all the time.
- Any time I go way off the diet, my weight goes up; but it goes back down quite quickly and easily when I go back on the diet.
It turns out that recent research has supported our move in this direction for dieting. As I wrote last month,
Here's the thing that got us onto that diet. We read a report that said the body burns more calories processing fat than it does processing the same caloric content of carbohydrates. And eating loads of fat doesn't increase your blood cholesterol. And, no, Atkins did not die of a heart attack.
And there are other studies that are moving in this direction [ht MA]:
- A Swedish Council, after reviewing the research, has recommended a low-carb, high-fat diet. Read that entire piece for details. Here is one brief excerpt:
Butter, olive oil, heavy cream, and bacon are not harmful foods. Quite the opposite. Fat is the best thing for those who want to lose weight. And there are no connections between a high fat intake and cardiovascular disease.
On Monday, SBU, the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, dropped a bombshell. After a two-year long inquiry, reviewing 16,000 studies, the report “Dietary Treatment for Obesity” upends the conventional dietary guidelines for obese or diabetic people.
For a long time, the health care system has given the public advice to avoid fat, saturated fat in particular, and calories. A low-carb diet (LCHF – Low Carb High Fat, is actually a Swedish “invention”) has been dismissed as harmful, a humbug and as being a fad diet lacking any scientific basis.
Instead, the health care system has urged diabetics to eat a lot of fruit (=sugar) and low-fat products with considerable amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, the latter a dangerous trigger for the sugar-addicted person.
This report turns the current concepts upside down and advocates a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, as the most effective weapon against obesity.
The expert committee consisted of ten physicians, and several of them were skeptics to low-carbohydrate diets at the beginning of the investigation. (Source.)
- Also see this excellent/readable summary of the research concerning saturated fats. It turns out the evidence that saturated fats are bad for you is far from compelling.