Recently, there have been several health articles discussing which is better for weight loss; Low Fat Diets or Low Carbohydrate Diets. There has also been the debate of which is worse, Saturated Fats or Carbohydrates? The articles I read were written by some very prominent doctors such as Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. John McDougall.
I found all three articles to be informative and I invite you to take a look at them to learn from their perspectives.
I’m not a doctor a scientist or a nutrition expert, I know from personal experience what has worked for me and my clients. I’m going to give you the “skinny” based on my humble opinion and experience.
The human body is a synergistic machine. We need fats, carbohydrates and proteins in our diet in the right proportions.
The current “fat” debate is on Saturated Fats. There has been a lot of back and forth between the experts some saying saturated fats from animal protein cause heart disease and raise cholesterol. Others say that saturated fats aren’t the culprits. Who’se right; who’se wrong?
I eat a lot of animal protein and yes, I do eat lots of beef and I eat eggs with yes, the yolks. Mind you, I’m not advocating you eat a diet high in saturated fat if you have an issue with your cholesterol. When eating animal proteins, it’s a matter of the quality of your food and where you’re getting them from.
Many of the animal proteins you get at fast food and chain restaurants are going to be high in saturated fat. They’re not lean sources of protein. Factory-farmed animals are not going to be as lean and lower in saturated fat as organic, grass-fed animals.
Saturated fats will not spike your insulin levels like simple, processed carbohydrates will, and animal proteins will satiate you better than simple processed carbohydrates leaving you less hungry. On that basic comparison yes, I would say that fats are better than carbohydrates.
Let’s get into the low-carb debate. We need carbs for energy, however, keep in mind that not all carbohydrates react the same way in your body. If you’re eating a lot of simple processed carbohydrates, they’re not as satiating as animal proteins, making you feel hungry and yes, they can spike your insulin levels, lead to weight gain as well as diabetes, heart disease and many other types of illnesses.
I honestly don’t feel that this is a black or what case of fats vs. carbs. As I already mentioned, I do eat a lot of animal proteins throughout the day every day, however, it’s the quality and the source of the food I purchase which makes a different.
Do I eat carbohydrates? Of course I do, however, I avoid the types of carbohydrates which raise your insulin levels such as sugar, white bread, pasta, potatoes, pretzels, cakes, candies, cookies, flavored yogurt.
What you do want to do is choose carbohydrates that are fibrous and low glycemic that won’t spike your insulin and will keep you satiated. The carbohydrates I eat are old fashioned oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, red peppers, apples, berries, grapefruit.
I have found a diet rich in quality animal proteins, natural fibrous carbohydrates and healthy fats is what helped me shed pounds and body fat, and has kept me lean and healthy over the years.
The other factor that none of these articles takes into account is exercise. Exercise boosts your metabolism, burns calories and uses food as fuel.
At the end of the day, if you want to lose weight and improve your health, it’s very simple and basic. Eat foods that rich in high quality protein, which will be lower in saturated fat, and choose carbohydrates that are natural, whole foods rich in nutrients and natural fiber and exercise.