Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diets

Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diets

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets

One of the key elements of a healthy lifestyle is diet.  In our acupuncture clinic, we try to educate patients based on the most available scientific research.   In the ongoing diet debate, a new study has shown low carbohydrate diets to be better than low fat diets as they relate to cardiovascular health.  

In a comparison of low carbohydrate and low fat diets over a two year span, patients on both diets fared the same when it came to weight loss and maintenance.  The biggest difference between the two diets was on markers for cardiovascular disease.

Patients on the low carbohydrate diet saw a 23% increase in the HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) vs. an 11% increase in the low fat diet group.  There was no significant difference between the groups related to weight, body composition or bone mineral density.

The low carbohydrate group ate 20g of low-glycemic index carbohydrates (those that don’t spike blood sugar levels) and unlimited fat and protein.  After three months, the carbohydrate intake was increased to 25g per day (100 calories of carbohydrates per day).

The low fat group had a lower overall energy intake of 1200-1800 calories per day, and <30% of calories from fat.

In his excellent book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes analyzed the scientific data on nutritional studies going back 100+ years.  In his findings, it was clear that fat was less likely to be the cause of our ongoing obesity problems.  The real problem is sugar.  Carbohydrates that are high on the glycemic index cause higher and quicker spikes on blood sugar levels.  These types of carbohydrates include white bread, pasta, and white rice as just a few examples.  Consumption of these types of foods leads to cravings for more of the same and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Our weight loss program is designed to end this cycle.  By eliminating foods that cause blood sugar spikes, we teach you how to control your cravings.  Patients consume large quantities of low glycemic index vegetables, small amounts of fruits and healthy fats.  In a span of the first 3 months of our program, patients are losing 11-14 pounds in the first 20 days!

Call to find out how our weight loss program can help you!

1. Sources:  Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat DieA Randomized Trial
Gary D. Foster, PhD; Holly R. Wyatt, MD; James O. Hill, PhD; Angela P. Makris, PhD, RD; Diane L. Rosenbaum, BA; Carrie Brill, BS; Richard I. Stein, PhD; B. Selma Mohammed, MD, PhD; Bernard Miller, MD; Daniel J. Rader, MD; Babette Zemel, PhD; Thomas A. Wadden, PhD; Thomas Tenhave, PhD; Craig W. Newcomb, MS; and Samuel Klein, MD
2.  Good Calories, Bad Calories;  Fats, Carbs, and the controversial science of diet and health.  Taubes, Gary.  First Anchor Books Edition. September 2008.

Author
Adam Learner, L Ac. Adam Learner, LAc, provides functional medicine and acupuncture for the residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Family Acupuncture & Wellness. In his practice, he uses a holistic approach to medicine and emphasizes addressing causes, not symptoms.

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