Dr. Lawrence Appel says consuming more fat lowers blood pressure
This Washington Post story by our dear friend Sally Squires has got to have her in a tizzy today because it goes against the low-fat/low-calorie/portion control diet she pushes so hard with her Lean Plate Club.
But a new study led by Dr. Lawrence Appel, professor of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore, Maryland, suggests that the low-fat message is antiquated and not as effective for weight loss and improved health as a diet rich in fat and protein as well as low in carbohydrates.
The landmark study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas, Texas on Monday, is great news for people who have long supported the low-carb lifestyle as a healthy way to not only lose weight but also improve other areas of health, including lowering the risks of heart disease such as cholesterol and blood pressure.
While doctors have for many years prescribed a low-fat diet for patients at risk for heart disease, Dr. Appel and his researchers found that those patients could stand to add more fat to their diet in the form of nuts, avocados and olive oil.
"The addition of unsaturated fat in lowering blood pressure was a surprise," remarked Dr. Appel.
To control high blood pressure and be heart healthy, it has traditionally been recommended by medical professionals that you restrict your sodium and cut back on your consumption of fat as well as cholesterol. But Dr. Appel said those recommendations neglected to look at the positive role protein, whole-grains, and healthy fats can have on reducing the risks associated with heart disease.
The study looked at three groups of people who followed various diet plans to compare how they would work for people in regards to their blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease risks.
There were 164 people in the study 30 years old and above, half of which were on the verge of having high blood pressure and three-fourths who were overweight or obese. Each of the diets were low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium, including many fruits, vegetables, fiber, potassium and other nutrients but the three groups were broken down into the following categories:
3. High-healthy fat
Each of the study participants remained on their respective diet for six weeks while Dr. Appel and his researchers kept track of their weight to make sure it stayed as constant as possible for the duration of the study.
At the conclusion of the clinical study, each of the groups saw their blood pressure fall and their LDL "bad" cholesterol drop significantly enough to make a difference in their risk of getting heart disease.
But imagine the surprise of Dr. Appel and his researchers when the high-protein and high-healthy fat diets produced even better results than the traditional high-carb, low-fat diets that have been the hallmark of medical recommendations for obesity and improved health for decades. It seems those days of mindlessly and robotically recommending a low-fat diet to improve the heart health of patients are history now.
"All three diets were healthy and had favorable effects. But the current recommended [low-fat] diet that is rich in carbohydrates can be further improved by partially replacing some of those carbohydrates with lean protein from plants and low-fat dairy products, or with monounsaturated fats," concluded Dr. Appel.
These incredible study results in favor of livin' la vida low-carb will appear in the next issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Are people who enjoy the healthy benefits of the low-carb lifestyle surprised by this study? Nope. We're just grinning from ear to ear as medical research continues to prove Dr. Atkins was right after all. Oh the thrill of victory! Sally Squires must be pitching a fit! You gotta love it!