Last month, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute negated an association between saturated fat intake and heart disease. Further, the study suggested that the limiting of fat intake is attributing to the rising obesity and diabetes rates in America. This report evaluated dietary data from a total of 347,747 subjects from 8 countries in 21 studies, over 25 years.
As the study points out, when fat is strictly limited in the diet, carbohydrate intake increases which can cause detriment to weight and blood glucose levels. Food is made up of 3 macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbohydrates. While (complex) carbohydrates should comprise the majority of the diet (50-60% of daily caloric intake in an average healthy adult), limiting fat (which is often found in high-protein foods), typically causes an increase in carbohydrate intake. This imbalance in macronutrients can cause an increase in weight and triglycerides, as well as an increased risk for developing diabetes. Additionally, excess carbohydrates are much more readily stored as fat when compared to fat and protein. The notion of “fat equals fat” couldn’t be further from the truth. A higher fat, moderate protein diet can increase satiety and better stabilize blood glucose levels when compared to a typical high-carbohydrate American diet.
For this very reason, I am a huge advocate of carbohydrate counting for weight loss. Not only is carbohydrate counting mathematically simpler than calorie counting, but it forces a balance in the diet. If I put a patient on a 1,600 calorie diet, for instance – they will put more emphasis on the totals rather than the components whereas carbohydrate counting creates flexible opportunity for the patient to balance their meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fat without meticulous calculations. Further, carbohydrate counting emphasizes portion control and regular meal times.
Whether I agree or disagree with this study, I think it surfaces some valid take-home messages regarding the make-up of our diets. Personally, I am a supporter of “diabetic” meal planning for patients looking to lose weight and use this approach on many of my patients.
Today at work was TASTE TEST DAY! The recipe I chose to make this week was turkey goulash. I am a huge fan of this recipe — quick, easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser. It’s also a traditional dish in Oklahoma.
THIS WAS AWESOME AS ALWAYS…….THANKS SO MUCH!!! The things you cook/bake are so good, is hard to believe these are healthy, you do a great job!
Have a good afternoon!
Thank you, Nicole, for such an awesome job you do on the taste test. They are always so good! 🙂
Question: What do you feel the role of saturated fat in the diet should be? Less is more? Some is okay? Doesn’t really matter? Do you know anyone who is “fat phobic” despite the common knowledge of healthy fats (mono and poly’s) in the diet?