There is a lot of excitement about low fat high protein diets, with people dancing in the streets and munching choice lean cuts of meat.
This is nothing new to the diet scene, (well, maybe the dancing is). Actually, this way of eating has been around for thousands of years under a different name. Smart healthy eating certainly lends itself to this type of dining.
But are low fat high protein diets any good? Do they work? Are they hard to stick to? Are they healthy in the long run?
The biggest challenge is putting away the chocolate, pop, chips, doughnuts and ice cream. The most important part of the low fat high protein diet isn't the protein or fat, it's the carbohydrates. All of these diets focus on removing carbs from you daily regimen.
Most people have heard of the Atkins diet. As a matter of fact, doctors in the late 1800's knew that an "all meat" diet caused weight loss.
If you're packing around extra pounds you want to drop them fast, and these diets are quite good at that.
The problem becomes the long term. Many low fat high protein diets are difficult to maintain over the long haul. They lack the fiber and nutrients required for long term health. This makes you crave other things, that are not on the diet. Getting your roughage?
So let's look at the three main parts that make this diet so popular:
This is the (pardon the expression) most idiotic part of the diet. Studies have shown over the years that low fat is a myth, and removing fat from your diet is just plain foolish.
Fat protects you from heart disease, builds nerve cells, and provides energy.
Fat also tastes amazing. Plain lettuce, or dressing? Would you like butter on that? Whipped cream? “Well, DUH!” I could eat wood shavings if you put enough dressing on it!
Fat satisfies. It's also an essential nutrient. Without it, your body will not work properly. Every single cell in your body has a membrane composed of fat. Your brain is two thirds fat (fathead)! Without the right fats, your body won't work properly at all.
You DO want to eat the healthy fats over unhealthy ones.
Don't sit down with a bucket of lard and a spoon.
Eat Olive oil. Coconut oil. Omega 3 fats. Fats from grass fed animals. Eat your fat! It's the right thing to do, and a tasty way to do it.
This is the important bit. High protein means lower carbohydrate. Meat, nuts, high protein veggies like spinach.This usually means cutting out grains, breads, pastas. But you can have more meat, and veggies.
Our biggest issue is back in the ‘50s, we were sold the idea of low fat, high carbohydrate diets. We were told that fat was bad, and carbs were good. It was in the media so much, that most of us believed it, even though every study on the diet showed that it made you fatter, and gave you heart disease.
What if fat doesn't make you fat? What if it's actually grains and carbs?
Ask any rancher how you fatten up a cow - you feed it GRAIN. How do you fatten up a person? GRAIN. Pasta, bread, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, muffins (especially low fat muffins). The ideal recipe to make fat, heart disease laden diabetics.
We need quality protein from grass fed meat and fish. Nuts, seeds, and vegetables (yes, they will all have fat in them). We don't need the grains.
So skip the low fat part of low fat high protein diet plans, but do the high protein part. Eat smart.
Get out there and move your body. Chase the kids around the yard. When you run down to the store, actually RUN down to the store.
Your body will thank you.
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