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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Carbs or Fats to lose weight

by Kyn

This can be a tricky question because they are clearly 2 major groups:
-One will promote high carbs, low fat and low protein.
-The other will promote high fat, moderate and very low carb

Both camps represent major changes in diet.

It is important to note the 2 major energy sources in food are carbs and fats. Proteins are terrible as an energy source so they have been avoided in this discussion.

(No whole food is purely fat or purely carb. Its always a mixture. Meat for instance has no carbs but it contains protein and fat. Wheat is mainly carb, contains some protein and contains little fat.)

The body is quite amazing in that it can survive on changes in fuel source. So a high fat or high carb diet will still provide enough calories to power the body. (In past times this would have been useful especially when the food sources throughout the year changed. In climates where winter is present and where winter lasts a long time clearly the diet would likely be different to where summer is very long or all year round.)

(We are not like birds in our evolutionary history who can migrate large distances to keep to the same diet.)

With high carbs there tends to be plenty of starches or natural sugars. With whole foods that are mainly carbs there are many nutrients that help to process those carbs. This includes the micronutrients like magnesium, chromium, calcium etc.

With high fat there tends to be fatty meats. Even for highly meat centric diets there is no hunter groups who just consumed lean meat and discarded the fat. The fat was often prized extremely highly. Examples would include Inuit (seal blubber), American Indians (pemmican mixing dried meat and fat) and Masai (milk, meat fat but not so reliant because they can supplement with some grain and fruit). In many instances fat contains fat soluble vitamins dissolved within like vitamin A, D, E and K2.

For weight loss I have tried both types of diet and found them to both work as long as calories where kept the same. Although, I always felt more full on lower calories from the higher fat diet. The volume was less but feeling fuller was always true. (Just imagine how full you start to feel from eating fatty meats or taking a few tbsp of butter or oil.) On a high carb diet with plenty of grains and fruit (no fatty ones like coconut or avocado) with no meat and no added fat I also lost weight.

Both work. But it is very important to note some people will cope better on a high carb diet and others with a higher fat diet. I prefer a higher fat diet because I feel better with more consistent energy and more balanced mood but this may not be true of you. You might find the opposite to be true.

For once, ignore the media for now and try swapping fat for carbs if your diet is not working and vice versa if a high carb diet is not working. There is too much of what seems like conflicting advice. But the most important person in this equation is you. Once size does not fit all.

Try to stick with whole foods. There is one food that fits into both high fat and high carb well are green leafy vegetables which are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. This should not compromise either diet so leave those in.

One thing is very clear a refined high fat and refined high carb diet do not fit together because you are adding two very high energy sources together and refining always gets rid of minerals and vitamins. What can a body do but store excess energy. With few vitamins and minerals that aid metabolism what can the body do but store everything away.