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Why A High Fat Diet Is Actually Good For You
For many years, it was common knowledge that fatty foods were the main reason to blame for weight gain. High fat diets were scorned by doctors because they cause weight gain, and they were also a main contributor to the prevalence of heart disease. Scientific studies that were carried out in the late 1940′s sought to answer the factors that contribute to coronary heart disease. In the end, they found that those who had elevated levels of cholesterol were more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and ultimately die from it. In the coming decades, the American Heart Association began promoting a diet that they claimed would help to minimize the heart disease that was plaguing the country. This diet was low in fats, and as such, suggested that people try to reduce the amount of butter and other animal products that are high-fat. They said it would be beneficial to eat a diet that was made up of low-fat foods such as chicken and margarine.
The findings of these studies resulted in a number of fast-food establishments changing their fry oil to vegetable oil, which contains much less saturated fat than the palm oil and animal fats that were used previously. Unsurprisingly, the studies that prompted these actions had more public policy effects in the coming years. The classical “Food Pyramid” is really what drove this point home. Fatty foods were placed near the top and were supposed to be consumed sparingly. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, were chosen to be located near the base as their consumption was encouraged to be the healthier option. Scientific studies conducted over the last couple of decades have turned this idea on its head. It turns out that a diet that’s high in fats and low in carbohydrates is a great way to shed fat and keep it off. Even more intriguing is the idea that a high fat diet may actually protect the heart from diseases.
High fat diets work by depriving the dieter of carbohydrates, which in turn pushes the body into a state known as ketosis. This means that instead of burning glucose for its energy (which comes from carbohydrates), the body will instead turn fat into a usable supply of fuel. Several studies have shown that a high fat diet is a great promoter of weight loss and may even be effective in reducing the insulin needs of diabetics. When an adequate amount of both protein and fat are provided, those who choose a high fat diet will experience no muscle loss – something that cannot be said about other diets which limit overall caloric intake.
Many people find avoiding carbohydrates to be the hardest part of sticking with a high fat diet. Soda and other sugary beverages are a popular treat, same as is ice cream, candy and other dessert items. Unfortunately, the carbs don’t stop during dessert time. Bread, rice, potatoes and other starchy vegetables are also major sources of carbs. If you can manage to stick to it, a high fat diet that is low in carbs will pay off in the end.