If you care about your health and wellness, then you have definitely heard, seen and maybe even felt the non-stop discussion taking place on what is healthier: low carb or low fat? There is not one easy answer to that question, and several others that surround the topic. One researcher finds “this” to be true, and another said the opposite; one doctor makes a certain claim, and another refutes it. Fad diets continue to take the stage, and some last longer than others.
Beach Body claims to have all the answers you need, and Weight Watchers sees the company’s stock price soar for several months, and then it tanks just as quickly as the sugar spike that happens when we choose to indulge in a high glycemic, sugar-laden snack. But one thing is for certain: those Snackwell cookies that were once seen as the golden ticket for cutting fat out of our diets are not good for us.
Those along with Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, Coca Cola, cigarettes (I know this is not a Carb or Fat, but they are terrible especially since for the past year I have focused on their deleterious effects on bone healing) and well lots of other products that are usually found on the end-caps, or eye-level sections at our local grocery stores, gas stations and hospital cafeterias (this makes no sense at all). Why are they so prominent? Because Sugar and unhealthy Fats sell.
The debate is different when we are talking about healthy fats and good carbs. But that’s not what this article is about. A future one is coming your way on that subject.
Today I want to update you on some of the latest research pertaining to carbs vs fats and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease also known as CVD. Mounting evidence suggests that a high carbohydrate diet (likely due to highly processed foods) is associated with a higher risk of death or “mortality” (for those of you who prefer medical lingo), while consuming fats (likely the healthy versions that start their names with Poly and Moly and yes, even Saturated, but not Trans) is associated with a lower risk of death.
If you gather a bunch of studies completed over the past several years you will see that there is no significant effect of saturated fat consumption on death rates, CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes mellitus (British Medical Journal August 2015). And if you look even deeper into the existing research you will see that total fat intake and saturated and unsaturated fats intake were not significantly associated with increased risk of heart attacks or CVD deaths (same journal article).
So I could be wrong and you should talk to your doctor before you decide to change your diet dramatically, but I am also willing to bet that most doctors are not up to speed on eating right and exercising so you may not actually get the medical advice you deserve (and you would not even know it since that is why you are seeking help in the first place). It’s not something that your doctor, or many others, likely focused on during medical school or during their follow-on training (i.e. residency, fellowship) unless like me they had the desire to understand the science and more importantly how to go about informing their patients.
And if you want to learn more about the truth, but in a fun-loving, perhaps a little PG-13 sort of way, check out more at Dr. Jimmy Westbrook’s site: http://www.drjimmywestbrook.com
If I were in your shoes, I would start looking for a few more healthy fats to incorporate into your diet – avocados, walnuts, almonds, salmon, and the list goes on – and eliminate a few more of those unnecessary carbohydrates, especially corn-based products.
So do it today. Make a list of a few healthier fats and go out and buy them. Seriously. At least pick up one or two items and start making some great changes to your daily meal routine, even if it means adding a few slivers of avocado to that pizza or burger you picked up on the way home.
Here is to your health, which is just another part of The Process.