Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When Is Eating Fat Not Fattening?

For many years, we've been told to simply trust in certain nutritional concepts that seem reasonable at face value. See if any of these sound familiar to you:

1. Eating fat makes you fat.
2. Low-carb diets are unhealthy from too much fat.
3. Saturated fat is very dangerous to consume.
4. Low-fat diets will protect you against heart disease.
5. Carbohydrates are essential in a "healthy" diet.

Have you heard one or more of these at some point in your life? Sure you have--we ALL have! They've been repeated ad nauseum for so many years that even the idiots who first spouted them off under the auspices of genuine science and quality research are now starting to believe them.

But the good thing about the truth is it is a constant that will eventually win out over lies. It doesn't happen very quickly sometimes, but it does happen.

These old school norms about diet and nutrition that I listed above are all a part of the educated ignorance I have talked about people having when it comes to defining what constitutes a "healthy" diet.

This is something that people like low-carb practitioner Dr. Mary C. Vernon have made their life's work. She specifically has been on the frontlines showing how the Atkins/low-carb nutritional approach can actually improve such epidemic diseases like obesity and diabetes so well that people can lose lots of weight and even come off of their insulin. Her work with the low-carb cure for diabetes was even recently featured in this outstanding article from Adam Campbell at Men's Health magazine.

Additionally, in my interview with Dr. Vernon last year, she insisted that further research into the healthy benefits of low-carb living needs to be conducted by government and health leaders because of all the advances behind-the-scenes that are going on with the science. It's literally mindblowing to see so much quality research being done even without the financial assistance from the government.

But even an acknowledgement of this latest research would do those leaders a lot of good according to Dr. Vernon's blog entry today entitled "The Low Fat Wisdom Is That Eating Fatty Foods Increases The Fat In Your Blood Stream." Go check it out and leave your feedback at her blog.

Dr. Vernon points out a study presented in November 2006 by two highly-respected low-carb researchers--Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek--who conducted a side-by-side comparison of the amount of saturated fat in the blood of people on a low-carb diet with those following the highly-touted low-fat diet. What they found was the low-carb study participants had "significantly less" saturated fat in their blood than the low-fatties did.

Here are the actual numbers from the study:

- LOW-FAT/HIGH-CARB DIETERS: lowered saturated fat by 24%
- LOW-CARB/HIGH-FAT DIETERS: lowered saturated fat by 57%
- Eating 3X the saturated fat cut the amount in the blood in half

HA! How about that?! Why isn't this front-page health news, hmmmm? The amazing Dr. Michael Eades blogged about this a couple of months ago after attending the American Society of Bariatric Physicians conference where this data was presented. Even the creatively titled "The Steaks Are High" blog echoes my oft-repeated point that "so many buy into the low fat path to failure." Unfortunately, they REALLY do--hook, line, and sinker!

But Dr. Vernon is doing what she can to spread the truth by transforming the lives of people who feel so hopeless and helpless each and every day in her clinic. They come to her for help and she gives it to them! Just in case you missed it, here's the plain unadulterated gospel according to research science truth about saturated fat straight from the lips (or fingertips with keyboard strokes!) of Dr. Vernon:

"Eating fat (whatever kind) does not make you fat. It does not increase blood stream saturated fat. Eating carbs does make you fat. Eating carbs does put saturated fat in your blood stream."

Or how about the way Dr. Volek put it in my interview with him?

"Eating fat does not make you fat, storing fat makes you fat. And carbohydrates play a major role in storing fat. So the level of dietary carbohydrate is really the most important factor to control because it dictates what happens to fat. Carbs are dominant and fat is passive. When carbohydrates are low, fat tends to be burned, and when carbohydrates are high dietary fat tends to be stored. The same holds true for the atherogenic effects of saturated fat. The body handles saturated fat better when carbohydrates are low."

Can it be put in any simpler terms than that? Presenting this data from Dr. Phinney and Dr. Volek to her patients, Dr. Vernon is giving her patients a chance at life again with cutting edge nutritional information they can really put to good use.

Here's a short list of dietary advice from Dr. Vernon for anyone wanting to lose weight and get healthier than they have ever been in their entire life:

1. Stop eating refined carbohydrates.
2. Eat more leafy green, non-starchy veggies and nuts.
3. Eat enough protein for your muscle function.
4. Eat until you are full, but don't overdo it.
5. Read a low-carb book or consult a low-carb friendly doctor.

That sounds like a plan to me, Dr. Vernon! So, answering the question, when is eating fat not fattening? I think you know what the answer is now. :)

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Blogger ETTC said...

I've been working out via gym membership for 4 plus years. In late November I switched from the sweat drenched workouts and joined curves. This is a workout that doesn't knock me out. I managed not to gain any weight during the holidays this was good, yet I realized that I had to put myself on a better diet. Although I watched everything I ate (calories) I still was only maintaining. So last Tuesday I went off sugar knowing it would take a good 4 days to eliminate the cravings. I’ve done this before. Then I started to monitor how I felt and realized that I needed to follow try a low carb diet. This is when I discovered your site. It’s now in my favorites and I check the blog daily. There are so many things I want to say about the skeptics but will refrain in order to let people know that since I’m following low carb I have no need for pepcid…my indigestion and/or acid reflux is non existent on this plan. So guess what? It’s the carbs that cause the problem not the fat.

Thanks for your site

1/09/2007 5:44 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your kind comments, ETTC, and WELCOME to the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog! I'm so happy to hear you have started the low-carb lifestyle and wish you well as you lose weight and get healthy.

By the way, you are so right about no longer needing Pepcid AC. I blogged about this awesome positive side effect of low-carb in this blog post.

There are so many health benefits to low-carbing, I'm surprised everyone isn't doing it!

THANKS again for your comments and feel free to do it anytime. Take care!

1/09/2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Excellent post, Jimmy! It's always heartwarming to read such excellent research and information. People like Mary Vernon, Mary Enig, dr. Atkins, Jeff Volek and (thank God!) many others who are genuinely interested in the truth - and have the guts and intelligence to speak out, deserve a Nobel Prize! They deserve our continued support!

1/10/2007 2:22 AM  
Blogger Calianna said...

"There are so many health benefits to low-carbing, I'm surprised everyone isn't doing it!"


If only...

Of course the main deterrent is the massive propaganda out there about the dangers of low carb, and the deadly consequences of consuming "too much fat", along with the massive campaign promoting low-fat.

The evidence is mounting daily, so the medical and dietary establishment will do a turn-around eventually.

Were constant change in what they promote as healthy not the case, we'd still be going to the doctor for blood-lettings on a regular basis!

1/10/2007 10:19 AM  

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