Low Fat Diet

The theory has been that a low-fat/high-carb diet would control weight and help prevent killer diseases. But most of the studies that followed actually failed to show a direct link between fat in the diet and heart disease and cancer. But by then it was too late even science couldn’t shake the prevailing wisdom that all fats are bad, and all carbs are good.

By investigating the genesis of this theory, Gary Taubes found that the government’s initial decision in the 1970’s to promote low-fat diets was not based on recommendations from doctors or scientists, but rather from lawyers who worked for Sen. George McGovern.

With the release of the government’s “Food Pyramid” in the early 1990s, it was official: the low-fat/high-carb diet was America’s food plan.

Dr. Robert Atkins, for one, said the government had it all wrong. More and more researchers and doctors are coming forward with the same conclusion. Good and bad fats are discussed in the treatment “Essential Fatty Acids”. Bad carbohydrates are those with a high glycemic index or simple sugars and those carbohydrates that have been refined.

It turns out that in the presence of a low fat diet, increasing the intake of vegetables actually raises LDL levels!

 


Low Fat Diet can help with the following

Autoimmune  


Circulation  

Hypertension

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods and reduced in total and saturated fat . It also is reduced in red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing drinks. It is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein.

One month of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and reduced sodium intake were each associated with reduced blood pressure in untreated hypertension (systolic blood pressure of 120-160 mm and diastolic blood pressure of 80-95 mm. DASH diet plus reduced sodium intake produced the greatest reductions in blood pressure. [Ann Intern Med 2001;135(12): pp.1019-1028]



 


 


 

Atherosclerosis

There is a wide range of studies from different cultures indicating that a diet high in saturated fat is not related to the development of atherosclerosis. In many of these studies, the greater the fat intake, the longer they lived.



Environment / Toxicity  

General Detoxification Requirement

Restriction of dietary fat may impair biliary flow which would be contraindicated in attempting to clear toxicity as bile is important to cleansing the body and getting biotoxins and heavy metals excreted into the fecal matter from the liver.



 

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Restriction of dietary fat may impair biliary flow which would be contraindicated in attempting to clear toxicity as bile is important to cleansing the body and getting biotoxins and heavy metals excreted into the fecal matter from the liver.



Hormones  

Night Eating Syndrome

Mice that ate a high-fat diet gained weight and experienced a disruption in their circadian clocks, which regulate metabolic functions such as when they go to sleep, wake up and become hungry.

The disruption threw off the timing of the animals’ internal signals, including appetite control. As a result, the mice ate extra calories during the time when they would have otherwise been asleep or resting. For humans, this would be the equivalent of raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night.

The high-fat diet and resulting weight gain also triggered diminished expression of genes that encode the clock in the brain and in peripheral tissues.

The findings suggest that changes in metabolic state that occur with obesity and diabetes affect not only circadian rhythms of behavior but also physiology.

Past studies have found that a misaligned body clock can throw off your metabolism, and increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.

This represents a “vicious loop,” according to researchers, because once weight is gained, your internal clock is disrupted, and a disrupted clock makes the original problem worse.

“Timing and metabolism evolved together and are almost a conjoined system,” said one of the study’s authors Joe Bass, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at ENH. “If we perturb the delicate balance between the two, we see deleterious effects.” [Cell Metabolism Nov. 2007, Vol 6, pp.414-421, 07]



Metabolic  

Insomnia

Mice that ate a high-fat diet gained weight and experienced a disruption in their circadian clocks, which regulate metabolic functions such as when they go to sleep, wake up and become hungry.

The disruption threw off the timing of the animals’ internal signals, including appetite control. As a result, the mice ate extra calories during the time when they would have otherwise been asleep or resting. For humans, this would be the equivalent of raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night.

The high-fat diet and resulting weight gain also triggered diminished expression of genes that encode the clock in the brain and in peripheral tissues.

The findings suggest that changes in metabolic state that occur with obesity and diabetes affect not only circadian rhythms of behavior but also physiology.

Past studies have found that a misaligned body clock can throw off your metabolism, and increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.

This represents a “vicious loop,” according to researchers, because once weight is gained, your internal clock is disrupted, and a disrupted clock makes the original problem worse.

“Timing and metabolism evolved together and are almost a conjoined system,” said one of the study’s authors Joe Bass, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at ENH. “If we perturb the delicate balance between the two, we see deleterious effects.” [Cell Metabolism Nov. 2007, Vol 6, pp.414-421, 07]



 

Problem Caused By Being Overweight

Reducing fat in the diet may reduce cancer risk and, in helping weight control, may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. [The National Cancer Institute booklet, “Diet, Nutrition, & Cancer Prevention: A Guide to Food Choices”]

Mice that ate a high-fat diet gained weight and experienced a disruption in their circadian clocks, which regulate metabolic functions such as when they go to sleep, wake up and become hungry.

The disruption threw off the timing of the animals’ internal signals, including appetite control. As a result, the mice ate extra calories during the time when they would have otherwise been asleep or resting. For humans, this would be the equivalent of raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night.

The high-fat diet and resulting weight gain also triggered diminished expression of genes that encode the clock in the brain and in peripheral tissues.

The findings suggest that changes in metabolic state that occur with obesity and diabetes affect not only circadian rhythms of behavior but also physiology.

Past studies have found that a misaligned body clock can throw off your metabolism, and increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.

This represents a “vicious loop,” according to researchers, because once weight is gained, your internal clock is disrupted, and a disrupted clock makes the original problem worse.

“Timing and metabolism evolved together and are almost a conjoined system,” said one of the study’s authors Joe Bass, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at ENH. “If we perturb the delicate balance between the two, we see deleterious effects.” [Cell Metabolism Nov. 2007, Vol 6, pp.414-421, 07]

However, the consumption of high glycemic index foods are more strongly linked to overeating and obesity.



Organ Health  

Gallbladder Disease

Fats stimulate bile flow and gallbladder contraction so should be reduced or eliminated during a crisis. A low fat diet is often recommended after gallbladder surgery. Also, before surgery, limiting fat intake can reduce gallbladder pain and attacks.



 

Diabetes Type II

It is essential that the diabetic avoid concentrated vegetable oils including margarine, olive oil, corn oil, and other fats. Nuts, olives and avocados are also best left out of the diet due to their fat content.

Fat, in general, is a problem for diabetics. The more fat there is in the diet, the harder time insulin has in getting sugar into the cell. Exactly why this occurs is not clear. But what is clear is that minimizing fat intake and reducing body fat help insulin do its job much better. Modern diabetic treatment programs drastically reduce meats, high-fat dairy products, and oils.



 

Macular Degeneration

Some scientists have suggested an association between macular degeneration and high saturated fat, low carotenoid pigments, and other substances in the diet.



Risks  

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

Please see reference found in the link between Increased Risk of Breast Cancer and Aerobic Exercise.



 


 

Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only about 1%, indicating that it has little to do with heart disease, which has escalated during that same time. However, during that same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.

Although politically incorrect, many studies have shown no benefit to reducing cholesterol and saturated fat consumption. The few studies that indicate a correlation between fat reduction and a decrease in coronary heart disease mortality also document a concurrent increase in deaths from cancer, brain hemorrhage, suicide and violent death. [JAMA, September 24, 1982, 248: p.1465]

In a study of 485 survivors of myocardial infarction compared with 508 controls, for every 1% increase in energy from total saturated fat, there was a 1.12 increased risk of myocardial infarction, with lauric plus myristic and stearic acid being at higher risk than palmitic acid. [Eur J Clin Nut 2003;57: p.1447]



 


Skin-Hair-Nails  


 

Psoriasis

A “moderate” diet is best in coping with psoriasis, without an excess of rich, fatty, starchy or spicy foods, or alcohol.



Uro-Genital  

Fibrocystic Breasts

Fibrocystic breasts have been linked to excess estrogen. When those with this condition are put on a low-fat diet, their estrogen levels decrease. After three to six months, the pain and lumpiness also decrease. The link between fat and symptoms appears to be most strongly related to saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat include meat and dairy products. Fish, nonfat dairy, and tofu are possible replacements.



Key

May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences

Glossary

Cancer

Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Essential Fatty Acid

(EFA): A substance that the human body cannot manufacture and therefore must be supplied in the diet.

Carbohydrates

The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a classification of foods based on their blood glucose-raising potential. Consuming foods high on the glycemic index promote a rapid rise in blood glucose. This contributes to the development of several chronic degenerative diseases.

Low-Density Lipoprotein

(LDL): Also known as "bad" cholesterol, LDLs are large, dense, protein-fat particles composed of a moderate proportion of protein and a high proportion of cholesterol. Higher levels of LDLs are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

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