Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc., works directly with medical professionals, health influencers and consumers to educate them about the Atkins sustainable lifestyle. Colette brings a wealth of nutritional knowledge and experience as the vice president of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. She has more than 20 years of experience as a nutritionist, which includes the time she spent with Dr. Atkins as director of nutrition at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine.
Below is a snippet from “Turns Out Everyone Was Wrong About Saturated Fats” by Colette Heimowitz. To read the entire article Click Here
Want to lose weight and improve your health? More healthy fat may help. While fat, specifically saturated fat, has been blamed for increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, research shows that carbs may actually be the culprit.
A controlled-diet study published in the journal PLOS challenges the theory that dietary saturated fat is bad or a contributor to heart disease. With that being said, there is an association between saturated fat in the blood and heart disease.
During the study, participants were put on six three-week diets that progressively increased carbs while simultaneously reducing total fat and saturated fat. Calories and protein remained the same. As carbohydrate levels increased, blood levels of a fatty acid (palmitoleic acid) known to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes also rose steadily.
When palmitoleic acid increases, it’s a signal that an increasing proportion of carbs are being converted to fat instead of being burned as fuel. In other words, the amount of carbohydrates you consume may determine how you process saturated fat — whether it is burned for fuel or stored as fat.
A recent study in the journal Open Heart indicates that research does not support the original dietary-fat-consumption guidelines created in 1977 and 1983. These guidelines recommended that we cut fat to about 30 percent of our total daily calories and reduce saturated fat — from red meat and dairy products like milk, eggs and cheese — down to no more than 10 percent of total calories.
Suddenly people were avoiding fat and replacing it with sugars and refined carbohydrates — often in the form of fat-free and low-fat packaged foods.
But these guidelines, intended to make Americans healthier, have done anything but. Adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, and they’re projected to increase by another 50 percent by 2030. Meanwhile, childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled.
It’s time to stop thinking of dietary fat as the enemy. In fact, fat is a key source of energy and essential nutrients. You can’t live without it, and it might help you lose weight.
Fat, like protein, helps keep you full longer. And since it carries flavor, it makes food more satisfying. In other words, you could probably consume fewer calories of fat and feel more full and satisfied than twice the calories of refined carbs. Even better, when you eat fat, it slows the entry of glucose into the bloodstream, helping to moderate your blood sugar. So instead of that “crash and burn” after eating carbs, along with feelings of hunger soon after, fat helps control your appetite and your cravings. When more than half of Americans show some type of carb intolerance, it may make more sense to choose a diet that controls carbohydrates instead of restricts fat.
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