Should You Cut the Fat or the Carbs?

What you should know before starting a low-fat or low-carb diet,

Widely Publicized diet’s.such as low-fat and high protein and low carbohydrates,seem so promising.It’s no wonder so many of us have tried-or considered-them.But does science support the claims? We spoke with doctors and dietitians and read the research.Here’s what you need to know before starting either of these popular eating plans.

Low -Fat Diets

If you tried ashutterstock_107544620 low-fat or no-fat diet to optimize your health and perhaps lose a few pounds,you’re not alone.But and eating plan that treats fat as the enemy,cutting out everything from beef to dairy to avocados,might not live up to its promises,in part becouse our bodies need fats.


  • The Promise

Proponents say these plans can prevent or ease heart disease, lower cholesterol levels,control blood preassure,and help you lose weigh and keep it off.

  • The Truth

Without some dietary fat,you can become deficient in essential fatty acids and have trouble absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.And unsaturated fat helps protect your heart and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.A 2012 review of studies by the independet Cochrane Collobration found that replacing saturated fat (found in animal products such as butter and ground beed) with unsaturated fat (found in fatty fish,avocados,nuts,and plant oils like oilve oil) lowered the risk of heart attacks and strokes.If weight loss is your goal,be aware that low-and no-fat foods aren’t always lower in calories.”Sometimes the reduce-fat or nonfat version of a product has added sugar and starch to boost the flavor and texture ,”says Maxine Siegel,R.D.,who heads food testing at Consumer Reports.

  • The Bottom Line

Stay away from non-fat or very low-fat diets; they can ultimately be harmful.But if you’re like most Americans and have been consuming more than a third of your calories as fat,reducing your overall intake and picking good-for-you fats is probably wise,says David Seres,M.D.,director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of the Consumer Reports medical advisory board.A plant-based diet,which includes plenty of goods fats,is healhy and associated with a decreased risk of disease.


  • A plant-based diet with plenty of goods fats is associated with a decreased risk of disease.
  • Eating too much protein cause a range of health problems including kidney stones and osteoporosis.


High-Protein,Low-Carbohydrate Diets

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Remember the Scarsdale diet and the Stillman diet? Those high-protein,low carb diets may be out of vogue,but Atkins is still hot.Protein-rich products and diets-Paleo,Zone,and more seems to be ubiquitous.


  • The Promise

All claim that you’ll lose pounds,feel peppier,and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • The Truth

People lose weight on high-protein plans because they take in fewer calories,not because they focus on protein,”Diets only work by lowering calories,”Seres says.”Where the calories come from doesn’t matter.” Many of these plans also recommend cutting back on or eliminating carbs,Get fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day (the amount in two apples) for three to four days in a row and your body will start trapping its own fat and mucle for fuel instead of its usual source:glucose derived from cabohydrates.This can have serious health consequences.”You’re altering your metabolism away from what’s normal and into a starved state,”Seres Says. “People in starved states experience problems with brain function.” A high-protein diet also overworks the kidneys.That’s especially worrisome for people with kidney disease and can predispose tose wit healthy kidneys to kidney to kidney stones.Over time,excessive protein intake leaches calcium from your bones,which can lead to osteoporosis.Far from increasing energy,that eating style might leave you fatigued and nauseated.Constipation can aslo be a problem becouse animal-based protein sources provide little or no fiber,The saturated-fat-laden red meat that’s part of many high-protein diets may boost your risk of heart disease.According to a Harvard study of more than 120,000 people who were followed for more than 20 years,a meat-based low-carb diet raised the risk of dying from heart disease by 14 precent.

  • The Bottom LIne

Steer clear,these diets have no proven long-term benefits and are linked to a host of potential health problems.


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