Low fat diet plans rose to the forefront in the health and wellness market based on medical advice that suggested the best way to reduce the growth rate of heart disease and other cardiovascular system related conditions was to cut back on fat intake. As obesity numbers climbed, it became apparent that something had to be done.
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes. But as more and more younger people began to show signs of this disease, that "adult" title sort of fell by the wayside.
There are dozens of options out there. Books about low fat diet menu items fill the health section of book stores. There are literally rows of applicable choices on grocery shelves.
But is it the best choice out there? A low fat diet plan could help a person lose weight. It could. But in many cases it doesn't or in the cases of some who do see weight numbers drop, they also face other health issues. I always had a problem with low fat diet plans, but couldn't put my finger on what was causing the nagging questions. Until I utilized a valuable tool we stress so often at books-empower.com.
I checked out the subject by reading books from experts in that field. I realized that my question wasn't as much with the part about cutting out fat as with what took it's place. It seemed as though carbohydrates moved to the top of the favored list. Maybe not by choice, but something had to go in where fat went out.
The battle within most us about how to stop overeating is a major conflict. Outside forces pull at us and our own taste buds work against our willpower too. But there is another part of this overall health puzzle that may be lacking in a low fat diet plan.
It isn't just what we eliminate from our diets. What is equally important is what we add into our daily food intake. The facts about trans fats are now conclusive. Even the food industry is having a hard time hiding from these simple truths. They are ever so slowly being forced to change meal preparation to eliminate these dangerous substances.
Not all fats are created equal. Trans fats are a pathway to slow death. Hydrogenated oils are being using in many cases now that the trans fat danger has been exposed. These vegetable oils might be even worse. There are healthy fats which are vital to maintaining a well functioning body.
Results from some important studies have indicated that "whole food eating plans" are actually more effective. Yes, a low fat diet plan might help lower cholesterol and reduce the chance of heart disease. But based on over two decades of research and analysis of that data, it doesn't appear to be as effective as expected in actually lowering the cases of heart attack and death.
There is a better alternative.
Dr. James Dalen of the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Dr. Stephen Devries, a preventive cardiologist from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago Illinois worked together to come up with better alternatives to a low fat diet plan based on the results of these two decades of clinical trials and observations.
Most of those trials compared options such as a low fat diet to those that concentrated on a two pronged attack on heart disease. The alternative focused on not only lowering the intake of unhealthy fat and of course eliminating consumption of any trans fat, but also centered around the consumption levels of foods that contained those healthy fats mentioned above.
Examples of these foods would be sunflower seeds, olive oil, walnuts, salmon, trout and other types of cold water fish. The American Heart Association suggests that these types of foods can be a benefit to our cardiovascular system.
Salmon of course is a natural source of omega 3 fatty acid. We know this is very important to our health. Omega 3 helps to balance out the omega 6 fatty acid that is found in so much of what we eat.
Dr Devries made this statement, "The potency of combining individual cardioprotective foods is substantial-and perhaps even stronger than many of the medications and procedures that have been the focus of modern cardiology," He added, "Results from trials emphasizing dietary fat reduction were a disappointment, prompting subsequent studies incorporating a whole diet approach with a more nuanced recommendation for fat intake."
And what is this alternative?
The results indicate that a far better alternative to a low fat diet plan would be a much broader based Mediterranean diet program. Not only do you get a lower intake of unhealthy fats, you also gain the advantage of adding foods that contain healthy, needed fats in foods such as olive oil, nuts and fish. The Mediterranean concept also includes a big emphasis on green vegetables and some fruit.
With some careful research you can find a local rancher who doesn't give his animals antibiotics. He will also not feed his animals with anything that was doused with glyphosate. We are what we eat. This type of rancher would be a good source for quality beef and pork.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Ramon Estruch reports that a Mediterranean diet may be almost as effective at reducing the risk of heart attacks as taking statins. This would be an amazing statement for anyone not familiar with the two books written by Dr. Chauncey Crandall. This leader in preventive medicine has also told us how he strives to get his patients off statins through this type of diet strategy. More details about defeating heart disease can be found in his book, "The Simple Heart Cure."
Dr. David Perlmutter has even stronger opinions about low fat diet plans. He states that these attempts at better health were the result of years of bad advice and are the driving force in most of the chronic health problems faced around the world. In his book "Grain Brain", Dr. Perlmutter details exactly how high carb, low fat diet plans work against our overall health.
Dr. Perlmutter is a board certified neurologist who treats patients with a wide range of health issues. His book is very clear in describing how the foods substituted in low fat diet plans are methodically destroying the health of millions of people around the world.
He writes that our brain needs healthy fats to operate efficiently. These low fat diets have taken away that needed fuel and added in much more sugar.
At the end of this page, you'll see our Mediterranean diet pyramid. It includes those healthy fats mentioned by all the experts presented in this page. "Grain Brain", along with some other research has caused me to re-evaluate my thinking in one area of that pyramid. More and more studies suggests that grain-any grain-adds too much sugar to our system leading to increased risks of leptin resistance, inflammation and many autoimmune diseases. Dementia related disease risks may also be influenced by excess grain consumption..
So I'll be looking at methods of cutting back on the wheat products and replacing them with other good choices on that pyramid. I'll continue to utilize one more replacement for a heavily advertised food. My suggestion would be that you might consider......
Adding in unsweetened almond milk in place of dairy milk to gain even more value. The old slogan, "Milk. It does a body good", is catchy and very creative. Also not completely accurate. Almond milk contains more calcium and antioxidant Vitamin E with none of the residue of growth hormones given to some cattle.
Here is a link with some more information from Dr. Perlmutter. Then perhaps grab his book. It will keep your interest.