A Swedish longitudinal study has bolstered existing scientific research that confirms the dangers of adopting low carbohydrate, high fat diets.
A 25 year research project undertaken by scientists at the University of Umea examined what factors increase the chances of developing heart disease.
Their findings exposed an increase in cholesterol levels from 2004 that coincided with an increase in fat consumption attributed to the popularity of low carbohydrate, high fat diets.
The study also affirmed existing research that prove diets do not lead to long term weight loss – in fact over the 25-year period, BMI levels in both men and women rose consistently.
Low carb, high fat diets are damaging to health, because they increase the risk of high cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Over the years I have tried most of the diets that have been popularised through media exposure, including low carb diets like the Atkins diet – but they have only ever worked on a short-term basis. That is why last year I opted for permanent lifestyle changes.
However, I did try an experiment a few weeks ago, to test a theory on low fat versus high fat diets. I made sure that my calorie intake was no more than the 2000 calories a day allowance that is recommended for women and during this time was still doing my daily exercise routine combining resistance training with walking on the treadmill – about 20 minutes a day in total.
During the experiment my daily meals included a pizza and a large bar of plain, dark chocolate. After one week I weighed myself to see if there was any change, and despite daily exercise and staying within my daily calorie allowance, I still put on 1lb.
Normally my daily intake includes very little fat – probably around 60-80 grams. But the chocolate and pizza added another 60 grams of fat, not to mention the extra sugars and salt. I doubled my fat intake, even though the calorie intake was “normal”.
One pound in weight might not seem like a lot, but if I consumed that same intake of fat on a long term basis, then in three months I could gain one stone in weight – and that’s pretty serious.
This explains why overweight people often say that they eat “normally” and cannot understand why they put on weight. It’s not just calories you need to count, but fat content. I should also add that my skin looked awful during that week and I was constantly hungry.
I am back on my healthy eating plan (not diet) which is tasty, very filling and full of nutrients – and my skin is noticeably better. Fad diets like low carb diets only produce short-term weight loss at high price – as this latest study shows, and should be avoided at all costs.