Low carb diets best for cholesterol, weight loss and health

For those seeking to lose weight and improve their health, fat is “the missing key to optimizing health because it controls hunger, cravings, and provides so many health benefits by improving the production of ketone bodies that is the preferred fuel source for the body.” And multiple studies have demonstrated the benefits of this approach, says Dr. William Lagakos, author of “The poor, misunderstood calorie: calories proper.”

In a trio of studies, “reducing carbohydrate intake led to a substantial, spontaneous reduction in appetite,” noted Dr. Lagakos. Moreover, “weight loss was significantly greater” for those on high fat low carb ketogenic diets.

Traditional advice on reducing your cholesterol consists of avoiding red meat, eating whole grains and using fat-free products. And that advice may lead to its own set of problems, warned Jimmy Moore, co-author of “Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers,” who feels that physicians “should be looking at the true culprits in heart disease–inflammation and oxidative stress.”

Jimmy, who co-authored the low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet book “Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet” with Dr. Eric Westman, also notes that our national fear of fat is causing part of our problems. “Saturated fat is arguably the healthiest part of the human diet that people are quite literally scared to death to eat. Some people actually believe they will have a heart attack within moments of consuming a food like butter or meat, but this is not based on any solid scientific evidence.”

The foods that consumers are advised to eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD) such as whole grains and omega-6 vegetable oils such as rapeseed or canola oil are the ones that result in inflammation and oxidative stress.

“Interestingly, these foods will drop your LDL-C number on your cholesterol panel, but what they do is shift your LDL particles to more of the small, dense, and dangerous kind you don’t want. This isn’t healthy and yet the health authorities couldn’t care less,” sums up Jimmy.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers compared low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets to low-fat diets to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. Co-led by Dr. Westman, the study concluded that high-fat low carb diets had significantly more favorable outcomes.

“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet,” they wrote.

Jonny Bowden, author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will,” notes that “saturated fat in the diet as a direct cause of increased risk for heart disease has been completely debunked by a number of recent studies, most recently in the March Annals of Internal Medicine.”

Also the author of “Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss,” Jonny describes the AHA advice as “way past its expiration date,” Jonny advises focusing on “whole, unprocessed foods, with the fat intact, plenty of vegetables, nuts, berries, grass-fed meat and wild salmon, and stop worrying about cholesterol.”

As for the cholesterol conundrum, Dr. Lagakos cites research showing that “there is not a strong causal relationship between dietary fats with blood cholesterol levels, and blood cholesterol levels with disease outcomes.” In addition, studies have shown that sacrificing that steak and biting into biscuits topped with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” instead sends you in the wrong direction with regard to reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your cholesterol levels.

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