Quit sugar, eat MORE fat, and become slimmer and healthier.
The healthiest and probably the easiest way to lose weight and help fight the obesity crisis is to take up a diet that is ‘low in sugary carbohydrates and high in healthy fats’.
As mentioned in Part 1, this way of eating is against the dietary advice from government health departments and dietitians. However, the ‘high natural fat, low sugar’ diet is a medically accepted regimen that is attracting the backing of health experts worldwide.
In fact, this new diet has a very large social media following. It has many respected medical experts stating that it is the ‘only’ healthy way to lose weight, fight obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
For example, the U.S. dietitian Dr Gary Taubes argues that tackling obesity is not about eating less, but ‘what’ is consumed. He is emphatic that a low carbohydrate, high fat diet is the answer.
Actually, a similar diet based on limited sugary carbohydrates was popularized by the British undertaker William Banting in the nineteenth century. He himself was obese, and the change of diet worked wonders for him. The Banting diet spread throughout Europe, and in Scandinavia banta remains the main verb for ‘to be on a diet’.
The new but similar ‘low carbohydrate, high fat’ diet is not a short-term ‘miracle fat and weight loss’ programme. It is a long-term way to eat healthily.
In some cases, obese people have reported losing up to a stone in weight in four weeks. Amazingly, they did not count calories, and hardly ever felt hungry. The suppression of hunger is thought to be due to the way that the body processes foods in different ways.
For instance, with a diet that predominantly consists of starchy and sugary carbohydrates, these are converted into glucose that the body uses as its primary energy source. Any excess sugar becomes fat and is stored for future use.
However, if carbohydrates are severely restricted in the diet, the body then has to use fuel other than glucose for energy. This is usually from stored fat in the body and from any fats in food eaten. In fact, there is little physiological requirement for carbohydrates, and non whatsoever for sugars.
Experts say that the key part of a ‘low carbohydrate, high fat’ diet is to limit total carbohydrates to a maximum of 50 grams each day. That will free the body from sugar addiction and help with weight loss in a natural way.
The trouble is that cutting right down on carbohydrates is not easy. However, when healthy fats are eaten, cravings are reduced because the stomach feels full.
Active people who are on their feet most of the day can actually eat up to 120 grams of carbohydrates a day and still benefit because they burn off the extra glucose. Unfortunately for those with a sweet tooth, these figures for carbohydrate intake apply only to those from whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, pulses, and nuts. These foods contain carbohydrates that are full of nutrients that metabolize slowly.
Sweet foods with sucrose and fructose, or those made of starch like potatoes, are forbidden. The best thing however is that the number of calories in food do not count in ‘low carbohydrate, high fat’ diets. Who likes counting them anyway? The balance of nutrients and healthy fats prevents craving.
Sugar addicts will not find the switch over easy. They are advised to concentrate on portion control for proteins and fats, and gradually reduce the intake of starchy vegetables such as potatoes and parsnips.
In the end, one has to reappraise old notions about nutrition.
Continued in Part 3.